Discover The Merci & Friendship Train Story By Video:
Here is a general overview of the Merci Train:
During World War II, the world was in turmoil as nations fought against one another. Despite the horrors of war, there were still acts of kindness and generosity that shone through. One such example is the Gratitude Train, a train filled with gifts from France to show appreciation to the United States for their aid during the war.
The idea for the Gratitude Train came about in 1947 when André Picard, a French journalist, proposed the idea to his colleagues. They wanted to find a way to thank the American people for their help during the war, which included sending supplies, equipment, and troops to Europe. The French people were grateful for this assistance, and they wanted to express their appreciation in a meaningful way.
The Gratitude Train was made up of 49 boxcars, each filled with gifts from the French people. The gifts included items such as paintings, sculptures, books, and other works of art. These items were carefully chosen to represent the culture and history of France, and they were meant to be a symbol of gratitude from the French people to the American people.
The Gratitude Train made its way across the United States, stopping in major cities such as New York, Washington D.C., and Chicago. When the train arrived in each city, it was met with great fanfare and celebration. The gifts were put on display for the public to see, and people from all over the country came to view them.
The Gratitude Train was more than just a simple gesture of thanks. It was a symbol of the friendship and alliance between the two nations. It was a reminder that even in times of war, there can be acts of kindness and compassion that bring people together.
The Gratitude Train also served as a way to strengthen the bonds between France and the United States. It was a reminder that the two nations had a shared history and a shared future. The gifts on the train were a way for the French people to express their culture and their values, and for the American people to learn more about them.
Today, the Gratitude Train is remembered as a symbol of hope and friendship. It serves as a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there can be acts of kindness and generosity that bring people together. The gifts on the train were a way for the French people to say “thank you” to the American people, but they were also a way to show that they valued the relationship between the two nations.
The Gratitude Train is also a reminder that gestures of gratitude do not have to be grand or expensive. The gifts on the train were simple, yet meaningful. They represented the culture and history of France, and they were given with sincerity and gratitude.
In conclusion, the Gratitude Train from World War II serves as a powerful reminder of the kindness and compassion that can be shown even in times of war. The gifts on the train were a way for the French people to express their gratitude to the American people, but they were also a way to strengthen the friendship and alliance between the two nations. Today, the Gratitude Train is remembered as a symbol of hope and friendship, and it serves as a reminder that acts of kindness, no matter how small, can make a difference in the world.
Visit The World War Two Merci (Gratitude) Train!
John F. Kennedy once said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Following the German occupation in WWII, the citizens of France were in need of help. In October of 1947, American citizens were asked to donate food and other relief supplies to aid in the very survival of the French people. Organizers arranged for a Friendship Train to travel across the U.S. and pick up supplies. This was not a government project. No money was spent. Everything was donated. In the end, over 700 boxcars filled with $40 million dollars worth of supplies (unheard of at the time) were shipped to France. It was a pure humanitarian giving of the people of the United States.
The French, like JFK, realized that the highest appreciation was not to offer simple words of gratitude, but to give back. In response, 2 years later, France returned the sentiment and sent 49 boxcars filled with handmade and personal thank you gifts donated by the citizens of France to the American people. One car was sent to every state in the Union at the time. Gifts included personal artwork, dishes, silverware, hand sewn wedding dresses, dolls, and more. A handwritten note accompanied each offering. These boxcars became known as the Merci or Gratitude Train. Florida’s boxcar is located at Veteran’s Park in Holly Hill.
1947 Friendship Train Facts:
A Note On Every Package:
All races and creeds make up the vast melting pot of America, and in a democratic and Christian spirit of good will toward men, we, the American people, have worked together to bring this food to your doorsteps, hoping that it will tide you over until your own fields are again rich and abundant with crops.”
Also on every label were these words, “This gift is sent to you by a tag which had these lines: ‘first and last name and address of donor’.
This message was written in Italian and French and printed beside the American flag. (Reference: http://www.thefriendshiptrain1947.org/)
1949 Merci Train facts:
Where To Find The Florida Merci Train:
The Daytona Beach or Florida area Merci Train is located at 1065 Ridgewood Avenue in Holly Hill Florida which is just north of Daytona Beach. The actual address is 1065 Ridgewood Avenue Daytona Beach Florida 32117.