July 2nd , Washington, D.C.…July 4th, Independence Day Parade    

The Independence Day Parade was one of the most important highlights of our trek. We had planned to meet two veterans: John Randolph Tucker in Richmond and James William Carroll in Brewton. We knew them, they both belonged to the story of cities where some of us were living. We had already welcomed those two veterans in Belgium.

Taking part in the Independence Day Parade was the best way to meet the American People and show them that we didn't forget the young men who came to liberate Europe. Hundreds thousands of people saw our WWII vehicles and the Belgian GIs, we were there to say a huge "Thank You, America!" Lots of WWII veterans also came to meet us.


It is difficult for you to understand how moved we were while driving our vintage vehicles marked with the white star. I remember an old lady in a wheelchair, dressed in a WWII uniform. She was a nurse in Europe in 1944. She came and touched our Dodge ambulance. She was weeping.


We also visited Washington, D.C., as ordinary tourists. An official reception was offered by our Ambassador. It was certainly the first time that Belgian G.I. invaded the Belgian Embassy. Thanks to the Awex (Agence Wallonne pour l'EXportation), our stay at Rockwood Manor Park enabled us to find a quiet place not so far from Washington, DC.


The Awex was also most helpful in the contacts with the police, the US Army to find a place where to park the vehicles, the managers of the National Independence Day Parade. Lots of other "little" problems were solved thanks to that help. When we arrived in Washington, D.C. we realized how precious that help was to be.