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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

General Pétain welcome note to U.S. forces, June 22, 1918. Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection, Henri Pétain, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (115.00.00)
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General Pétain welcome note to U.S. forces, June 22, 1918. Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection, Henri Pétain, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (115.00.00)
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"Welcome, Brave Allies"

By the spring of 1918, large numbers of U.S. soldiers were arriving in France. These reinforcements were appearing none too quickly for the French who, along with British and other Allied troops, were desperately holding off a major German offensive. In his welcome to the Americans on June 22, General Philippe Pétain, the commander of French forces, said, "Every American soldier on the soil of France represents a portion of national territory reconquered."

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