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French re-enactors dressed in World War I-style uniforms march through Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, before the start of the ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the World War I Oise-Aisne Offensive, Saturday, July 28, 2018.
French re-enactors dressed in World War I-style uniforms march through Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, before the start of the ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the World War I Oise-Aisne Offensive, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
French re-enactors dressed in World War I-style uniforms march through Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, before the start of the ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the World War I Oise-Aisne Offensive, Saturday, July 28, 2018.
French re-enactors dressed in World War I-style uniforms march through Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, before the start of the ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the World War I Oise-Aisne Offensive, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
French and Americans gathered at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, Saturday, July 28, 2018, to mark the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive.
French and Americans gathered at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, Saturday, July 28, 2018, to mark the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
A biplane flies over Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, during a ceremony marking the centennial of the World War I Oise-Aisne Offensive, Saturday, July 28, 2018.
A biplane flies over Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, during a ceremony marking the centennial of the World War I Oise-Aisne Offensive, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
Command Sgt. Maj. Terry White, 1st Battalion, 167th Infantry Regiment, walks through the graves at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, after the ceremony marking the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive, Saturday, July 28, 2018.
Command Sgt. Maj. Terry White, 1st Battalion, 167th Infantry Regiment, walks through the graves at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, after the ceremony marking the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
Dressed in a World War I-style uniform, Cpl. John Koenig of the 42nd Infantry Division, stands near the flag pole at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France. French and Americans marked the 100th anniversary of the Oise-Aisne Offensive at a ceremony at the cemetery.
Dressed in a World War I-style uniform, Cpl. John Koenig of the 42nd Infantry Division, stands near the flag pole at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France. French and Americans marked the 100th anniversary of the Oise-Aisne Offensive at a ceremony at the cemetery. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, speaks at the ceremony marking the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, Saturday, July 28, 2018.
Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, speaks at the ceremony marking the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
French flag bearers from local military societies stand at the beginning of the ceremony marking the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, Saturday, July 28, 2018.
French flag bearers from local military societies stand at the beginning of the ceremony marking the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
A soldier carries a wreath to a dignitary during the ceremony marking the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, Saturday, July 28, 2018.
A soldier carries a wreath to a dignitary during the ceremony marking the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
The dogs of the 132 Military Working Dog Battalion of the French army were at ease during the ceremony marking the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, Saturday, July 28, 2018.
The dogs of the 132 Military Working Dog Battalion of the French army were at ease during the ceremony marking the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, Saturday, July 28, 2018. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
The 42nd Infantry Division color guard march off through Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, at the end of the the ceremony marking the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive
The 42nd Infantry Division color guard march off through Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, at the end of the the ceremony marking the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)
The graves at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, are decorated with French and American flags for the ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the World War I Oise-Aisne Offensive, Saturday, July 28, 2018. Graves of soldiers from the 42nd Division, known as the Rainbow Division, had their graves also marked with a Rainbow Division flag.
The graves at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery at Seringes-et-Nesles, France, are decorated with French and American flags for the ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the World War I Oise-Aisne Offensive, Saturday, July 28, 2018. Graves of soldiers from the 42nd Division, known as the Rainbow Division, had their graves also marked with a Rainbow Division flag. (MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES)

SERINGES-ET-NESLES, France — French and Americans gathered at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in France on Saturday to mark the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive.

About 55,000 Americans were killed or wounded in the World War I operation, which included two separate offensives, the Aisne-Marne and the Oise-Aisne battles. Most of the nearly 6,000 Americans buried at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery died in these battles.

The centennial ceremony Saturday featured a flyover by two World War I-style biplanes to honor the pilots who fell in the war, including Lt. Quentin Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt’s son, who was shot down nearby in July 1918.

U.S. Maj. Gen. Steve Ferrari, 42nd Infantry Division commander, and Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, both gave speeches, quoting poet and 42nd Division soldier Sgt. Joyce Kilmer, who is buried at the cemetery. Ferrari ended his speech with Kilmer’s powerful poem “Prayer.”

Standing nearby, dressed in a World War I-style American uniform, Cpl. John Koenig, Headquarters and Support Company, 42nd Infantry Division, said, “I still can’t believe I am in France for the ceremony. This unit is close to me, and I am interested to learn more about it.”

The 42nd fought a two-day battle nearby at Croix Rouge Farm, where later Saturday another ceremony was planned at the division’s memorial monument.

A three-volley salute was given by a French 75 mm cannon from 1897. The ceremony ended with a firing of volleys by a U.S. Army honor platoon and the playing of French and American taps.

“It’s fantastic to have been here. We’ve been here for a week and have seen most of the sites where our unit fought,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Terry White of 1st Battalion, 167th Infantry Regiment, as he walked through the rows of crosses and Stars of David after the ceremony.

abrams.mike@stripes.com Twitter: @stripes_photog

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