World War II veterans honor Allies in liberated French towns

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In February 2005, Monika Stoy and her husband, Tim, sent letters to the mayors of more than 250 cities in the south of France, towns that ranged from the Mediterranean playground of St. Tropez to the tiny village of Urschenheim, in Alsace. As varied as the towns were, they had one thing in common: All had been liberated in the late summer and early fall of 1944 by members of the 3rd Infantry, the same division that the Stoys, both U.S. Army officers, were part of.

The letters weren't official Army correspondence. Instead, they were a labor of love. Each bore the same message: Our World War II veterans are dying. It would be a sign of respect to display a plaque in your town in memory of the sacrifices they made. If you provide a plaque, we will guarantee that U.S. soldiers will be there for the dedication.

The Stoys made three requests: That the towns fly the U.S. flag at the dedication. That they play the U.S. national anthem. That there be children, who could keep the memory alive....

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