A virtual flag raising ceremony will be held Thursday in honor of a Franklin soldier who was the first American soldier to die in Nazi occupied Europe during World War II.
The LIVE virtual flag raising will begin at 12:30 pm in honor of Army Ranger, 2nd Lt. Edward V. Loustalot.
Loustalot died on August 19, 1942 during the effort to liberate France.
The City of Franklin says that the French government and its citizens have commemorated and memorialized Lt. Loustalot annually since August 19, 1946.
Loustalot's family and the City of Franklin became involved in the annual ceremony in 2019 upon learning of the event.
The virtual memorial will be streamed live on the City of Franklin Office's Facebook page with Mayor Alain Duc of Barnaval le Grand and Mayor Patrice Philippe of Petite Caux in France.
The flag that will be raised over the Franklin Peace Memorial was flown over Lt. Loustalot's burial site in Ardennes American Cemetery & Memorial in Neupré, Belgium on January 3, 2020 and was presented as a gift to the City of Franklin on January 22, 2020.
According to the City, Lt. Edward Loustalot was one of the first 50 select U.S. Army Rangers embedded with British Commandos in what is now known as Operation Jubilee or the Dieppe Raid of August 19, 1942. Unfortunately Lt. Loustalot was killed in action during the raid. This raid ultimately gave U.S. and Allied forces a blueprint for the invasion of the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.
For the first time members of the Loustalot family will be in attendance of the memorial in Dieppe, France, city officials said.
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