Connect with American History in Pas-de-Calais
During WWI, soldiers from across the globe came to the area, and visitors can retrace the steps of these brave servicemen who fought to protect the freedom and peace we enjoy today. Whether in search of ancestors or simply paying tribute, at sites like the German bunker, La Coupole, and the underground passageways inWellington Quarry at Arras, people get closer to the experiences of the soldiers. Other sites like theCommonwealth War Graves, the Canadian Memorial in Vimy, the national necropolis of Notre Dame de Lorette, or the German cemetery in Neuville-Saint-Vaast honor the fallen.
Native Americans Fighting Abroad
A little-known fact is thenumber of Native Americans that enlisted and fought in the wars. Moving silently, and with sharp eyes, they made excellent snipers and reconnaissance agents. During the war they were seen as fierce warriors, feared by German soldiers, and respected by their Allied counterparts.
The ARACA (Association de Recherche des Anciens Combattants Amérindiens) is headquarted in Loos-en-Gohelle, a city in Pas-de-Calais. To date, its President, Yann Castelnot, has a list of over 4,000 names of enlistedAmerican Indians. Among the more well-known Native Americans are Standing Buffalo, the grandson of Sioux chief Sitting Bull, whose grave is found inFicheux, and Tom Longboat, the marathon champion who used his running skills to carry messages across enemy lines.
Head to the site for memorial tourism in Pas-de-Calaisfor more information on those who fought in the area, and the places you can visit to remember them.