In the spring of 1918, the wooded area known as Belleau Wood, about 30 miles northeast of Paris, was a quiet sanctuary of graceful old-growth trees, a hunting preserve for well-off Parisians, teeming with birds and game. Despite its proximity to the front, it had been largely untouched by the war. That all changed in June.
When the battle at Belleau Wood was over, the ground was soaked with the blood of nearly 10,000 American casualties, including more than 1,800 killed, and an unknown number of Germans. The U.S. Marine Corps suffered more casualties in that battle than it did in its entire history to that point.
The battle was three weeks of carnage that left the once-beautiful preserve a scorched ruin, its trees splintered or uprooted. Only the stone walls of the hunting lodge that marked the northern edge of the forest remained standing when the smoke cleared.
Acts of extraordinary heroism were commonplace. “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?” 1st Sgt. Dan Daly famously yelled to his attacking Marines as he urged them into German lines. The lines would come to epitomize Marine Corps espirit for generations to come. More here.
It is the law, any plants or fruits or food and even pets from a foreign country must go into quarantine. Imagine that, the law takes extreme caution to ensure disease or other health issues are not a threat to public safety. What a paradox as compared to people entering the United States illegally that may have undiagnosed illness that could are often are extremely contagious.
There was a time during the days of Ellis Island where this was all taken quite seriously.
USCIS published this video just this past week.
Meanwhile, back to the tree and the thought behind the gift to President Trump.
Circa 1918: Belleau Wood is the location where the Marines repelled a German offensive. The tree is known as a Belleau oak tree. The tree grew close to the ‘Devil Dog’ fountain. This was the spot where the top of the fountain resembles the head of a bull mastiff, essentially the nickname for the Marines… Devil Dogs. photo
The first large-scale battle fought by American soldiers in World War I begins in Belleau Wood, northwest of the Paris-to-Metz road.
In late May 1918, the third German offensive of the year penetrated the Western Front to within 45 miles of Paris. U.S. forces under General John J. Pershing helped halt the German advance, and on June 6 Pershing ordered a counteroffensive to drive the Germans out of Belleau Wood. U.S. Marines under General James Harbord led the attack against the four German divisions positioned in the woods and by the end of the first day suffered more than 1,000 casualties.
For the next three weeks, the Marines, backed by U.S. Army artillery, launched many attacks into the forested area, but German General Erich Ludendorff was determined to deny the Americans a victory. Ludendorff continually brought up reinforcements from the rear, and the Germans attacked the U.S. forces with machine guns, artillery, and gas. Finally, on June 26, the Americans prevailed but at the cost of nearly 10,000 dead, wounded, or missing in action.