In 1946 citizens of Dunkirk founded the Dunkirk Society. That organization, with Mayor Walter Murray as chairman, organized an effort to raise funds and material aid for their war devastated sister city of Dunkerque, France. The results were so great that the Times Herald of Washington stated, “It is a veritable Tale of two cities. One of them famous and one of them that should be.” CBS Radio broadcast the events live and Eleanor Roosevelt praised the city in her column “My Day.” The New York Times, Newsweek, and other publications featured the story. On Thanksgiving Day, 1946, a mile long parade passed a review stand displaying the donations being handed over to the French city. Mayor LeMaMaire Robelet of Dunkerque, the French Ambassador Henri Bonnet, actors Charles Boyer, actress Simone Simon, CBS president William Daley, and other dignitaries witnessed livestock, farm equipment, an ambulance, medical supplies, tools, dental equipment, and school supplies pass by. Mayor Murray was presented the Legion of Honor in recognition of the service Dunkirk had rendered to the French city.
Top, left: Dunkirk Mayor Walter Murray shakes the hand of French Ambassador Henri Bonnet in front of the plaque presented to the latter. Forged in a Dunkirk foundry, the plaque read “For Life and Liberty, Dunkirk to Dunkerque,
Top, right: Gifts are stacked in a warehouse in Dunkerque for presentation to its citizens.
Botton, left”: Members of the review stand that stood on Central Avenue in front of the Hotel Francis (formerly the Hotel Gratiot) included French Ambassador Henry Bonnet and his wife, unknown man, Dunkirk Mayor Walter Murray.
Bottom, right: The program for the day included the Formal Presentation of Gifts at the High School, Memorial Service at Memorial Park, Lunch at the Hotel Francis, the Parade starting at 1:30. Reception at Shorewood, and Banquet at Floral Hall.