Across Two Wars

Paris, Reims, Compiègne, Soissons, Verdun, Belleau Wood, and Normandy
September 3 - 11, 2018

Tour Overview

Whether your American Legion post was chartered in 1919 or 1991, it has a story. Behind every namesake, there was a man or woman who made an important contribution or sacrifice. In times of tragedy, triumph and troop support, your post has stepped up and proudly served, helped others and left a mark that will not be forgotten. The 100th anniversary of The American Legion is not only an opportunity to look back on all your post has achieved. It is also the perfect time to chart a course for the second century. New generations of veterans depend on the kind of vision shared and expressed by the WWI-era founders.

Now, for the first time ever, The American Legion, in alliance with The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, is offering Legionnaires the opportunity to travel to France to celebrate our 100th birthday. Visit the famous American Legion Paris Post #1, stand where the WWI armistice was signed in Compiègne, walk on Omaha Beach, and honor the sacrifices of those who served before us in World War I and World War II. We invite you to participate, celebrate, commemorate, and learn what it means to be a Legionnaire by experiencing where it all started.

The American Legion, with a current membership of 2.1 million wartime veterans, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Now approaching a full century in existence, The American Legion embarks upon its Centennial Celebration which is not only about honoring the past 100 years of history, but also preparing to continue the legacy of service. In alliance with The National WWII Museum educational travel program, The American Legion invites you to join us as we explore the battle sites across France from World War I and World War II. Across Two Wars: The American Legion Centennial Commemorative Tour honors the service and sacrifice of all who fought to protect our freedoms over the past 100 years, and brings to light the continued work of the Legion as we embark on a new century of bettering communities around the world.

Thumbnail

Book Your Trip With Us!

Save $1,000 per couple when booked by March 1, 2018.

Book Your Trip

Tour Inclusions

  • Full-time logistical tour manager
  • Expert local battlefield guides
  • Roundtrip airport transfers (when arriving and departing on scheduled group tour dates)
  • Four-star accommodation in the heart of Paris
  • Four-star accommodation in the ancient city of Reims
  • Historic, fully-renovated accommodations in Normandy
  • VIP access to sites not offered on other tours
  • Video oral-history presentations from the Museum collection
  • Personal listening devices on all included touring
  • Complimentary bottled water on all touring days
  • Private, first-class, air conditioned motor coach transportation
  • Eight breakfasts, six lunches, and four dinners
  • Free-flow beer, wine, and soft drinks with included lunches and dinners
  • Welcome and farewell receptions
  • Included gratuities to guides, drivers, porters, and servers
  • Customized map book of your journey, including useful battlefield maps and archival images
  • Personal journal and pen to document your journey
  • Document wallet, personalized luggage tags, and customized name badge
Thumbnail

Download the Brochure

Download the official Across Two Wars brochure for a full listing of inclusions, accommodations, and other useful information.

Download Brochure
Across Two Wars

Tour Itinerary

Destination Map

View Full-Size Map

Full Tour Itinerary

One-Night Pre-Tour Extension
Paris: Highlights of the City of Lights

Paris: Highlights of the City of Lights

Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, guests are warmly welcomed and transferred to the Hotel L’Echiquier Opéra in the heart of Paris. Enjoy free time this afternoon to explore Paris or relax in the hotel. Meet fellow guests this evening for a Welcome Reception before setting out to enjoy the City of Lights independently.

The morning tour of Paris begins after breakfast at the stunning medieval French Gothic Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris, or “Our Lady of Paris,” before continuing to the Pantheon to visit its famous crypt, resting place to many noted historical figures including Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, and Marie Curie.

After an included lunch in the area, walk the grounds of Les Invalides, where the tomb of Napoleon is located, before embarking on a driving tour of Paris to view Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde, and drive along Avenue des Champs-Élysées, before returning to the hotel. This evening, join guests arriving today at the Across Two Wars Welcome Reception and Dinner.

September 3, 2018 - Day 1

Arrival in Paris, France

Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, guests are warmly welcomed and transferred to the Hotel L’Echiquier Opéra in the heart of Paris. Enjoy free time this afternoon to explore the heart of Paris or relax in the hotel. Meet fellow guests this evening for a welcome reception and dinner celebrating the founding of The American Legion and its century of contributions to the country, its communities, and its veterans.

Hotel L’Echiquier Opera Paris (R, D)

September 4, 2018 - Day 2

Paris, France & The American Legion’s Historic Paris Post #1

Enjoy a morning at leisure before departing the hotel for The American Legion Historic Paris Post #1, established December 13, 1919, nine months after the first Caucus meetings of the Legion in March of that year. After an included lunch, afternoon touring commemorates the fallen soldiers of World War I and World War II, beginning at the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Cemetery. Hear the story of the birth of American combat aviation and honor the 68 members of the Lafayette Flying Corps who gave their lives during World War I. The day ends at Suresnes American Cemetery, where the remains of 1,541 Americans who lost their lives in World War I rest alongside the names of 24 WWII servicemen still missing in action. Enjoy the evening exploring the City of Lights on your own.

Hotel L’Echiquier Opera Paris (B, L)

September 5, 2018 - Day 3

Compiègne / Soissons / Reims

Bid adieu to Paris and travel to Reims to visit the site where World War I ended. In Compiègne,the Armistice Museum and Memorial commemorates the armistice which ended World War I, and the collection includes objects that were present at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. A period train car tells the story of the French surrender to the Nazis in 1940.

Continue to Soissons and enjoy an included lunch before touring the WWI battle sites surrounding the town where, from July 18 to 22, 1918, French, British, and American forces advanced on territory occupied by Germans since their spring 1918 offensives. Both sides suffered tremendous casualties as the Allied Forces ultimately succeeded in securing the area.

Check into the Hôtel de la Paix on arrival in Reims this afternoon before joining the group for an included dinner this evening.

Hôtel de la Paix Reims, Reims, France (B, L)

September 6, 2018 - Day 4

Reims / St. Mihiel / Verdun

Study the Verdun and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive today with the first stop at St. Mihiel, where General Pershing’s detailed operations led to a significant American victory. After lunch in Verdun, visit the Douaumont Ossuary, where the remains of at least 130,000 French and German soldiers are interred, exposing the stark reality of the 300 days of the Battle of Verdun. The day ends with the story of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the last Allied offensive of World War I. The American Expeditionary Force played a major role in the offensive that brought about the end of the war, but suffered more than 120,000 casualties.

Enjoy an evening at leisure in Reims after returning from the day’s touring.

Hotel d’Argouges, Bayeux, France (B, L)

September 7, 2018 - Day 5

Château-Thierry / Belleau Wood / Normandy

After an early breakfast, the journey begins to the Normandy region. Along the way, the focus turns back in time to some of the first American actions during World War I, with stops in Château-Thierry and Belleau Wood. During fighting at Château- Thierry, American forces joined the French in launching the first assault on German forces in more than a year, taking the Germans by surprise in the predawn hours of July 18, 1918. Belleau Wood is the setting where the US Marine Corps’ determination and dedication shined through to their fullest. At each of these locations, visits to the battlefields and monuments help explain the nature and importance of these early battles.

Upon arrival in Bayeux this evening, check into the historic Hotel D’Argouges, before enjoying time for exploration of this quaint medieval town and an independent dinner at one of Bayeux’s many restaurants and cafes.

Hotel d’Argouges, Bayeux, France (B, L)

September 8, 2018 - Day 6

Sainte-Mère-Église / Utah Beach

Awake in Normandy this morning and shift focus to World War II and Operation Overlord. Begin the day where American paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions first landed in Normandy. Visit the town of Sainte-Mère-Église this morning, where paratroopers overcame scattered landings and missed drop zones to capture strategic bridges and crossroads.

After an included lunch, visit Utah Beach, where Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. rallied the infantry units to capture and hold the beach and the strategic causeways before returning to Bayeux for an included dinner.

Hotel d’Argouges, Bayeux, France (B, L, D)

September 9, 2018 - Day 7

Pointe du hoc / Omaha Beach

Start the day at scenic Pointe du Hoc, where Lieutenant Colonel James Rudder’s Rangers climbed the 100-foot cliff to neutralize a German position. Continue to Omaha Beach, noting the position of the tides and the German defensive positions. Experience the awe-inspiring condition of the beach from Vierville-sur-Mer, where the Bedford Boys came ashore, to WN-62 where German machine gunner Heinrich Severloh fired on the 1st Infantry Division for several hours. At the Normandy American Cemetery, participate in a special wreath-laying ceremony as a tribute to all who gave their lives in the Battle of Normandy.

Enjoy free time this evening for reflection on the day’s visits and have dinner in the beautiful town of Bayeux.

Hotel d’Argouges, Bayeux, France (B, L)

September 10, 2018 - Day 8

Bayeux or Mont Saint-Michel

The final day in Normandy is dedicated to the cultural treasures saved during the liberation of France. Those choosing to remain in Bayeux will visit the Bayeux Cathedral, which dates back to the reign of William the Conqueror in the 12th Century, and see the nearly 1,000-year-old Bayeux Tapestry, which tells the story of William’s conquest of England.

Guests may also elect to take a day-trip to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mont Saint- Michel. A tidal island off the coast of Normandy, Mont Saint-Michel has been home to strategic fortifications since ancient times, and has been the seat of a monastery since the 8th century.

Both groups enjoy an independent lunch in Bayeux or Mont Saint-Michel. This evening, a veteran of the French Resistance adds a personal story to the history of WWII Normandy during the farewell dinner.

Hotel d’Argouges, Bayeux, France (B, D)

September 11, 2018 - Day 9

Return Flight Home

An early morning departure returns the group to Charles de Gaulle International Airport for your afternoon flights home.

(B)

Across 2 Wars

Through Their Eyes

Remembering the Fallen in Normandy

GENERAL THEODORE ROOSEVELT JR.

PURPLE HEART & MEDAL OF HONOR
1887 – 1944

Theodore Roosevelt Jr., the eldest son of American President Theodore Roosevelt, fought in both world wars. In 1919, after fathering the creation of The American Legion, Roosevelt fought off all efforts to be elected national commander. Always known to enjoy being a common soldier and Legionnaire, Roosevelt was assigned to the US 4th Infantry Division, and was stationed in England prior to the Normandy invasion in 1944. Roosevelt requested to lead the attack on Utah Beach with the first wave of soldiers, but was repeatedly denied by Major General Raymond O. Barton. Barton eventually agreed, albeit reluctantly, and made it clear he did not expect Roosevelt to live through the initial landings on Utah Beach.

Roosevelt was the only general to land with the first wave of troops on any of the Allied beaches on D-Day.

At the time of the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944, Roosevelt was 56 years old, frail, and required the aid of a walking stick. Despite his poor health, which had suffered as a result of his service during World War I, he proved to be a fine leader, and as depicted in the film The Longest Day, he famously stated, “We’ll start the war from right here!” when he realized his troops were landing two kilometers off course. Later in the day, once the beachhead at Utah Beach was secured, General Barton came ashore and to his great surprise, Roosevelt was waiting to meet him. On July 12, 1944, after being involved in fierce fighting, Roosevelt suffered a heart attack. He was buried at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. His Legionnaires never forgot him. His 1945 Distinguished Service Medal was accepted shortly after his death by his widow, Eleanor. In 1949, 30 years after he resisted calls to lead the organization, Legionnaires named him a past national commander. His grandson, Theodore Roosevelt IV, is currently serving as the American Legion 100th Anniversary Honorary Committee Chairman, continuing the work his grandfather and fellow cofounders intended to achieve a century ago.

Across 2 Wars

Accommodations

Paris

L’Echiquier Opéra Paris

Decorated in Art Nouveau style with a contemporary twist, the four-star L’Echiquier Opéra Paris hotel in central Paris is close to the theaters and cabarets of the Grands Boulevards and Opéra, the epicenter of French culture and art. Newly renovated, the hotel embodies its Belle Epoque heritage through wood detailing, mosaic floors, and decorative painting. The guest rooms welcome you with a contemporary feel, yet with the ambiance of a 1930s Parisian apartment. Each air-conditioned room features slippers, bathrobes, Clarins beauty products, and free Wi-Fi.

Reims

Hôtel de la Paix

The Hôtel de la Paix, a Best Western Premier Hotel, is located in the heart of Reims, the capital of France’s Champagne region. Situated near the famous Reims Cathedral, this hotel combines modernity and cultural heritage with comfortably air-conditioned, soundproof rooms with free Wi-Fi. An indoor pool and fitness center are on site and complimentary to guests.

Hotel d’Argouges

Bayeux

A Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence winner in 2015, the Hotel d’Argouges is the perfect location to discover Normandy. This elegant, 18th century residence owned by the same family for two generations invites you to experience luxury and comfort among refined surroundings. High ceilings, old doors, parquet floors polished by time, and period fireplaces provide the warmth and character of the French countryside.

Across 2 Wars

Pricing

Program Pricing

Price per person based on double occupancy 

$3,995 

Book Your Trip


Price per person based on single occupancy

$5,395

Book Your Trip


Pre-Tour Extension Options

Paris: Highlights of the City of Lights
Price per person based on double occupancy

Optional one-night pre-tour extension program
$499

Book Your Trip


Paris: Highlights of the City of Lights
Price per person based on Single Occupancy

Optional 1-night pre-tour extension program
$698

Book Your Trip

Across 2 Wars

Request More Information