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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Paula Bauer's Departure Party and New Assignment for New Agency in another Country

After only 11 years on the staff at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, the highly talented, respected, loved, and admired Paula Bauer (the better half of Chief of Cave Resources Mr Dale Pate) has not only transferred away from the park, but has transferred to another agency American Battle Monuments Commission and to another country--France.

Paula was hired to work with the New Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center described below.

Dedication of New Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center Set for June 6, 2007--Sixty-three years after Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy to turn the tide of World War II in Europe, a new visitor center at the Normandy American Cemetery in France will open in June 2007 to tell the story of the 9,387 Americans buried there and put the D-Day landings and follow-on battle in Europe in perspective as one of the greatest military achievements of all time.

The $30 million visitor center will be dedicated and opened to the public on June 6, 2007 during the annual D-Day commemorations. The center is sited in a wooded area of the cemetery approximately 100 meters east of the Garden of the Missing. Normandy is the American Battle Monuments Commission's most visited cemetery, receiving approximately one million visitors each year.

Visitor Experience
One-third of the building's 30,000 square feet will be dedicated exhibit space. Using personal stories of participants and a mix of narrrative text, photos, films, interactive displays and artifacts, exhibits will portray the competence, courage and sacrifice of Allied forces.

The visitor center is designed to complement and enhance the experience of visiting the cemetery. By relating the global significance and meaning of Operation OVERLORD, the center will pay tribute to the values and sacrifices of the World War II generation. After experiencing the cemetery and the center, visitors will have a greater appreciation of those participating in the Normandy invasion, the achievement of America and her Allies in conducting the greatest amphibious invasion in history and the importance of honoring our war dead.

In honoring the brave Americans who lie far from home, as well as those who survived the battle, the center will inspire future generations to explore, understand and emulate the values for which they gallantly fought. It will also convey a sense of remembrance and provide visitors an opportunity to reflect upon a pivotal moment in World War II and realize how dramatically it affected the course of world history.

Project Goals

  • Design an effective and efficient facility that architecturally complements the cemetery landscape with style and dignity.

  • Develop appropriate messages that increase the visitor's appreciation of the magnitude and significance of the Normandy operations and the sacrifices involved in victory.

  • Expand public awareness of ABMC services, facilities and objectives in honoring America's war dead overseas.

  • Project History
    In June 2001, U.S. Congressmen David Obey and John Murtha proposed that funding be included in the Congressional budget for construction of a visitor and interpretive center at the Normandy American Cemetery.

    In December 2002, ABMC selected the SmithGroup, an architectural and engineering firm based in Washington, D.C., to design and build the center. ABMC and SmithGroup planners melded the ideas, concepts and visions that evolved into the final design concept. Gallagher & Associates, based in Bethesda, Md., is designing the exhibits for the visitor center. Construction began in September 2005.

    ABMC worked closely with local government officials in Normandy to create a visitor center that will celebrate the spirit and teamwork of the men and women who won the battle for Normandy, while ensuring that the center integrates into the French government's plan for infrastructure improvements throughout the Normandy area.

    Dedication PlansThe visitor center will be dedicated at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 6, 2007, during a ceremony at Normandy American Cemetery commemorating the 63rd anniversary of the D-Day landings. The ceremony is open to the public, with seating available on a first come-first served basis. All who attend should plan to be in their seats by 10:00 a.m.

    World War II veterans and family members of those buried in the cemetery may request priority seating for the ceremony. To access the application form, click here.

    Other D-Day commemorative events are being planned by the Comite du Debarquement (D-Day Commemoration Committee).

    Dedication of New Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center Set for June 6, 2007

    Paula in pink.

    Stacey emcees.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Paula presides!

    "Please keep the gifts coming!"

    Avelina--Paula's best friend through her stay at the caverns

    Jana, her baby, Greg, Shannan, Barry

    Rob, Bridget, and Greg

    Dave and Marjorie and Baby Trey(still residing in Mom's tummy at the time.

    Paula and a hitch-hiker

    Nice people I met at the party

    Official from the French Foreign LegionPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Our host Marie on the right with Chief Ranger
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Carolina and Bob

    Ted and Melania
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    These are just some of the people who were at the party. I can't post them all as my hand has fallen asleep and I can't press the mouse buttons.

    Whoops! how did my grandson Jimi's picture from the park's 2006 children's XMAS party get in this post. Sorry. NOT!!
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Congratulations, Paula on your great new job. We miss you, but we understand that someone had to go France, no? :D

    © Bob Hoff, 2007


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