Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine separatist crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels call for Russian troops after deadly clash

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

Americas

US shutdown closes iconic D-Day cemeteries in France

© CC/Erik Cleves Kristensen

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-10-02

The US government shutdown on Tuesday affected military cemeteries worldwide. In France, the famous Omaha Beach cemetery, where thousands of US troops who died in key battles during the First and Second World Wars are buried, was temporarily shut.

Iconic military cemeteries around the world where thousands of American soldiers who died in the First and Second World Wars lay to rest were temporarily closed from Tuesday due to the US government shutdown.

A sign outside the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial, west of Paris, informed visitors of its closure. “Due to the United States government shutdown, this site is closed to the public”

But Suresnes isn’t the only one. The move affects some 20 cemeteries in France, Belgium, Britain, Italy, Tunisia and Mexico which serve as the final resting place for troops who died in landmark campaigns such as the Normandy D-Day landings, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) said on its website.

A sign informs visitors of the closing of the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial, west of Paris, on October 1, 2013. ©AFP

Normal operations will resume "when a new funding measure is passed by the US Congress and signed by the president of the United States," the ABMC said.

Christopher Palmer, a spokesman for the US embassy in Paris, confirmed the move but said the mission and consulates in the country will remain open.

A restaurant owner near the American cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach, one of the landing beaches of the Normandy invasion, expressed fears that her business would be hit.

The site, which houses the remains of more than 9,300 US troops, attracts more than one million visitors a year.

"Today there were people," she said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "I had 80 to 90 people. Everybody was only talking about this, they didn't know. Even the guides brought tourists.

"But if tomorrow, the cemetery is still closed it could have serious repercussions on our business."

At the American cemetery at Bony, containing the graves of 1,844 soldiers who died in the Battle of the Somme during World War I and other operations, employees did not turn up for work, a worker said.

"But they will be paid because we are under French law," the worker said, joking that these were just "extra holidays".

The US government was forced to shut down on Tuesday, after the houses of Congress failed to agree a new budget. National parks, monuments, and some administrative offices were immediately closed, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal workers temporarily without a job.

It was the first shutdown in 17 years.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-10-02

  • USA

    Obama slams Republican 'crusade' amid shutdown

    Read more

  • USA

    US government shuts down as budget deadline passes

    Read more

  • USA

    Senate rejects House budget bill as shutdown looms

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)