Foreword - The First Liberation of 1918. Écourt-Saint-Quentin, France

The First Liberation of 1918
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I wish, through Michel Gravel’s work, salute the remarkable events he shares with us, and more broadly, all whose research recues from obscurity our forgotten history.

It’s essential to support our local historians. In a globalized world that makes economic borders disappear, it’s important to enshrine our identity with our local history.

Écourt-Saint-Quentin, the first inhabited village liberated: What a symbol for the liberators but also for France! The brotherhood of these citizens opposed the strength of the occupier, the brave Canadians facing death, full of their mission.

Ideas transcend all people, their hearts beat in unison, hope flourished and differences faded before the cause of freedom, its value only measured when it was threatened.

Our common suffering unites us, and we, with the Canadians, a common destiny, a common culture. In 1918 there was hope.

Let us tread the path of hope and dreams, brotherhood of peoples and maybe, just maybe, we learn from our history.

Jean-Paul Delevoye
Ombudsman of the French Republic
Mayor of Bapaume
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