Even today French locals, other Europeans and Americans find themselves drawn to the Meuse-Argonne region of France. Once drawn there, many return time and again; often working on multi-year research or preservation projects. In this irregular interview series, the Webmaster hopes to introduce readers to some of these individuals and their labors of love.
1) What are your name, nationality and occupation?
- Alain Cesarini
- Retired for six years
2) Which languages do you speak, and how fluently do you speak them?
- French, fluent
- English, professional
- Italian, basic
3) When was your first visit to the Meuse-Argonne?
4) When did you really find yourself drawn to the Meuse-Argonne?
5) What is your primary interest in the region?
6) Approximately how many times and/or how often do your visit the Meuse-Argonne?
- Hundreds of times
- Twenty times a year
7) What do you do when you visit?
- Research of relics (Dugout, pillbox, trenches, etc. without metal detector and without digging the soil that is forbidden in the Meuse.)
- Photographing remains of the war
- I try to link history and relics.
8) What research or preservation projects are you working on currently?
- Meuse-Argonne Offensive, in the area of Dun-sur-Meuse and Stenay
- Conference and didactic panels (in collaboration with Jean Marie, local President of Souvenir Français)
9) What research or preservation projects have you completed in the past?
- Battle of borders in the Belgian Ardennes (http://cheminsdememoire.eu/fr/)
- Battle of Meuse in August 1914 (http://cheminsdememoire.eu/fr/)
- Research and finding the locations of all markers and boulders of the 2nd and 5th U.S. Divisions.
10) What is your favorite spot in the Meuse-Argonne, and why?
- WW1 history of Dun-sur-Meuse and Stenay because they are in my area.
11) History aside, what is your favorite thing to do in the Meuse-Argonne?
- Research and photo of architectural heritage in my area.
12) Schedule permitting, would you consider being a tour guide for individuals or groups traveling to the sector?
- I often led people in the footsteps of their ascendants in the Meuse-Argonne area.
- I have got a very good knowledge of the Verdun battlefield.
13) How can readers contact you for assistance or for more details?
- Readers can contact me via the contact form of my website: http://stenay-14-18.com/.
- Readers can contact me via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
14) Any other comments?
The Webmaster would add that Alain has been a frequent provider of information in the Meuse-Argonne.com FB Group. He has certainly demonstrated both his knowledge of the AEF in the Meuse-Argonne and his ability to speak English.
Alain has also prepared an article on Charles Dashiell Harris, 6th Engineers, 3rd Division that can be found here: http://stenay-14-18.com/grandes-batailles/meuse-argonne/3e-u-s-division/charles-dashiell-harris/.