U.S. Senator Susan Collins met with Madawaska native Scott Desjardins, the superintendent of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, at a ceremony today to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion by Allied forces during World War II. Senator Collins was part of the official, bipartisan Senate delegation to Normandy, France.
“I was delighted to meet fellow Aroostook County native Scott Desjardins at the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy,” said Senator Collins. “As the Superintendent of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Scott has the solemn responsibility of maintaining the final resting place for thousands of Americans who were killed while fighting to liberate Europe. I appreciate all of Scott’s efforts to help organize today’s beautiful ceremony. His work is so important to ensuring that subsequent generations remember and honor the courageous soldiers who gave their lives in defense of our freedoms.”
Mr. Desjardins became superintendent of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial on June 6, 2017. Mr. Desjardins, a 1977 Madawaska High School graduate, entered the Army after school and retired after 20 years, some of which he spent stationed in Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. He was an Army cavalry scout and tank crewman.
In the late 2000’s, Mr. Desjardins first began working for the American Battlefield Monuments Commission at the Meuse Argonne Cemetery in France, a WWI burial site near Verdun. In 2010, he was selected as superintendent of the American cemetery in Luxembourg, which commemorates the Battle of the Bulge.
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France is located in Colleville-sur-Mer, on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944 as the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery site, at the north end of its half mile access road, covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of more than 9,380 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. On the Walls of the Missing, in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial, are inscribed 1,557 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.