You who have done so much to raise awareness of the massacre of the Eleven African-Americans in Wereth on December 17, 1944!
After Hermann Langer erected the cross in 1994 in memory of the soldiers who had spent their last hours near his family, little by little, the name of the hamlet of Wereth went back to the highest American authorities in Brussels and finally, I do not know how, ended up at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
Still, it was in 2002, just after the constitution of the US Memorial Wereth non-profit organization, that General Granger, commander of the LRMC, sent his Public Relation Officer as a scout to investigate the participation of African-American soldiers in the Battle of the Bulge. And that « scout » was Marie SHAW!
On a cold, more than eventful day in January 2002, Marie, accompanied by an LRMC officer (Colonel Stevens), went to Bastogne; the meeting was unsuccessful, except that mention was made of a certain Adda Rikken, president of the USMW who told them in detail about the massacre and took them to Wereth.
Back in Landsthul, Marie reported on an exhausting but emotional day that had unfolded, as she liked to say, « in the rain and slush, under weather worthy of the Battle of the Bulge! »
A few days later, the secretary of the US Memorial Wereth received a phone call from Marie who wanted to come and pay tribute with about fifty soldiers and their families, while accompanying a Veteran of the 761st Tank Battalion, Mr. Leonard SMITH.
This first visit (February 15, 2002) will be the beginning of many others organized by Marie SHAW and the LRMC; and also the beginning of a frank friendship between the two of us.
After the inauguration of the new memorial in 2004, the LRMC and the Rocks European Chapter invested in the beautification of the site (plantations, bench, tree.) still under the leadership of Marie; …. and the visits multiplied over time.
In 2015, Marie reached a more than well-deserved retirement but did not forget Wereth. Accompanied by Christine IGOE, her replacement in the LRMC, she was always present at the annual ceremonies despite her fragile health in recent years.
Personally, I want to pay tribute to her, not only for all the help she has given to the US Memorial Wereth but also for the boundless dedication (and witnessed) to all these soldiers and their families in the LRMC.
Be sure, Marie, all those you have helped here now welcome you with open arms up there!
Rest in peace! You deserved it!
Anne-Marie NOËL-SIMON, co-founder of the U.S. Memorial Wereth