D-Day: The French Jubilee of Liberty Medal

CRS Report for Congress
D-Day: The French Jubilee of Liberty Medal
Barbara Salazar Torreon
Information Research Specialist
Knowledge Services Group
This report details the Jubilee of Liberty Medal awarded to U.S. veterans by the
French government to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy
by the Allied forces on June 6, 1994 (D-Day). These medals are no longer distributed
by the French government. Included is information on how to obtain this medal from
a commercial source and how U.S. veterans may obtain an official “Thank-You-
America 1944-1945” certificate of participation from the French government. This
report will be updated as needed.
Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944
The invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, was the largest air, land, and sea
invasion ever undertaken, including over 5,000 ships, 10,000 airplanes, and over 150,0001
American, British, Canadian, Free French, and Polish troops. There are no exact figures
for the total number of D-Day participants nor exact casualty figures. Some historians
estimate that more than 70,000 Americans and more than 80,000 combined British,
Canadian, Free French, and Polish troops participated, including 23,000 men arriving by2
parachute and glider. According to estimates from the National D-Day Memorial
Museum, the Allied forces suffered 9,758 casualties, of which 6,603 were Americans.
Jubilee of Liberty Medals and D-Day
The Jubilee of Liberty Medal was first awarded in June 1994 to American
servicemen for their participation in the Battle of Normandy. The medals were minted
at the request of the Regional Council of Normandy to be presented to veterans attending

1 Brian Williams, “Operation Overlord,” MilitaryHistoryOnline, at
[http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/ wwii/dday/ overlord.aspx].
2 Historical information can be found in numerous sources including D-Day June 6, 1944 (1994)
and Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender
of Germany, June 7, 1944 to May 7, 1945 (1998) both by Stephen Ambrose; and The Longest
Day (1959) by Cornelius Ryan. Additional information is available from the National D-Day
Museum located in New Orleans, Louisiana, via the Internet at [http://www.ddaymuseum.org].
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landing on June 6, 1994. Eligible veterans included all
who served in Normandy from June 6 to August 31, 1944, comprising land forces, off-
shore supporting personnel, and airmen flying cover overhead. The only stipulation was
that the medal be presented during an official ceremony, and the veteran be present to
accept. On the front of the medal is inscribed, “Overlord 6 Juin 1944” on the upper part
of the medal, with the flags of the allied nations and the names of the landing beaches
completing the face of the medal. On the reverse side is the Torch of Freedom surrounded
by the device of William the Conqueror ‘Diex Aie’ (“God is with us” in Norman French).
Unfortunately, these medals are no longer being awarded by the French government.
All medals to commemorate the 50th anniversary ceremony on June 6, 1994, have been
distributed by the French government. Additional medals for those veterans who were
unable to attend the anniversary ceremony were later distributed through the Association
Debarquement et Bataille de Normandie 1944 in France, which is now defunct.
Some Members of Congress have awarded the Jubilee of Liberty Medals to U.S.
veterans who were unable to attend the ceremony in France on June 6, 1994. These
medals were obtained either from the Association Debarquement et Bataille de
Normandie 1944 or from a commercial source.
Commercially-minted Jubilee of Liberty Medals are being manufactured by Sims
Enterprises, a private company in Kansas, that is selling these medals at a cost of $17 for
each individual medal (includes shipping and handling ) or $13 each for orders of 10 or
more medals (plus an additional charge for shipping). Please note: This company is not
affiliated with either the French or U.S. governments. Veterans are asked to send copies
not the originals of their service record for verification; copies will not be returned unless
specifically requested along with the medals. For additional information, please contact
Sims Enterprises, 617 Main Street, Newton, KS 67114; Tel: (316) 283-5817.
“Thank-You-America 1944-1945” Certificates
The French government is no longer distributing the Jubilee of Liberty medals.
Instead, the government of France is distributing a “Thank-You-America Certificate
1944-1945” for U.S. veterans. According to a letter sent in December 2000 by former
Ambassador of France to the United States, His Excellency François Bujon de l’Estang,
to then Secretary of Veterans Affairs Hershel W. Gober, the government of France is
issuing a certificate to recognize the participation of American and allied soldiers who
participated in the Normandy landing and subsequent battles leading to the liberation of
France. Veterans who served on French territory and in French territorial waters and
airspace, from June 6, 1944, to May 8, 1945, are still eligible. The certificate will not be
issued posthumously. In agreement with the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the
French Consulates General and state veterans affairs offices, veterans service
organizations, and veterans associations will identify eligible veterans, review and certify
the applications, prepare the certificates, and organize the ceremonies to present the
D-Day participants living in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia may obtain applications for certificates from
the French embassy in Washington, DC, or directly from the Internet at
[ h ttp://www.ambafrance-us.org/ news /statmnts/2000/ww2/index .asp] .

French Consulate/”Thank-You-America”
4101 Reservoir Road
Washington, DC 20007
Tel: (202) 944-6000
Fax: (202) 944-6072
D-Day veterans living in other states may wish to contact the nearest French consulate
listed below.
Table 1. French Consulates in the United States
AtlantaFrench Consulate/”Thank-You-America”
(Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North3475 Piedmont Road, NE
Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee)Suite 1840
Atlanta, GA 30305
BostonFrench Consulate/”Thank-You-America”
(Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,Park Square Building
Rhode Island, Vermont)Suite 750
31 Saint James Avenue
Boston, MA 02116
ChicagoFrench Consulate/”Thank-You-America”
(Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky,737 North Michigan Avenue
Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,Suite 2020
North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin)Chicago, IL 60611
HoustonFrench Consulate/”Thank-You-America”
(Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas)777 Post Oak Boulevard
Suite 600
Houston, TX 77056
Los AngelesFrench Consulate/”Thank-You-America”
(Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada,10990 Wilshire Boulevard
New Mexico) for California, send to LA ifSuite 300
your zip code is under 93400, to SF if aboveLos Angeles, CA 90024
(see below)
MiamiFrench Consulate/”Thank-You-America”
(Florida)One Biscayne Tower 17th Floor
2 South Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33131
New OrleansFrench Consulate/”Thank-You-America”
(Louisiana)The Amoco Building
1340 Poydras Street, Suite 1710
New Orleans, LA 70112

New YorkFrench Consulate/”Thank-You-America”
(Connecticut, New Jersey, New York)934 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10021
San FranciscoFrench Consulate/”Thank-You-America”
(Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho,540 Bush Street
Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah,San Francisco, CA 94108
Washington State, Wyoming) for
California, send to SF if your zip code is
above 93400, to LA if under (see above)
Websites on D-Day
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). The American Battle
Monuments Commission's Web page on the Normandy Cemetery at
[http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries/cemeteries/no.php] has information on the cemetery
and links on how to locate those interred at American World War II cemeteries overseas.
D-Day Museum. The National D-Day Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, at
[http://www.ddaymuseum.org] provides historical information on events from D-Day as
well as information on annual commemorative events.
National D-Day Memorial. The website of the National D-Day Memorial in
Bedford, Virginia, at [http://www.dday.org] includes information on the memorial, local
events, and tours.
Normandy Region D-Day Tours. The official website in English of the Comité
Régional de Tourisme de Normandie lists various D-Day tours in the region as well as
general tourist information at [http://www.normandy-tourism.org/gb/16tours/index.html].
Western France Tourism Board. The official site of the Western France
Tourism Board offers information on tours and travel in the region by clicking on
“Normandy” at [http://www.westernfrancetouristboard.com].