(4/11/2003) As an American & British invasion of Iraq became more and more imminent in March, 2003, French opposition to that campaign and anti-french sentiment from Americans hit a fever pitch. As an outraged nation plotted boycotts of French vacations, products and services, it was just a matter of time before someone remembered that there were many Americans in France who aren't able to leave.
SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT
SEVERE EARTHQUAKE IN FRANCE
March 2003. It has been reported that severe earthquakes have occurred in 10 different locations in France.
The severity was measured in excess of 10 on the Richter Scale.
The cause was the 56,681 dead American soldiers buried in French soil rolling over in their graves.
According to the American Battle Monuments Commission there are 26,255 Yankee dead from World War I buried in 4 cemeteries in France.
There are 30,426 American dead from World War II buried in 6 cemeteries in France. These 56,681 brave American heroes who died in their youth to liberate a country which is guilty of shameful unspeakable behavior in the 21st century.
May the United States of America never forget their sacrifice as we find ways to forcefully deal with the Godforsaken, unappreciative, forgetful country of France!
PASS THIS AROUND! Maybe it will get to someone in France
END CHAIN LETTER TEXT
The introductory joke above is subtle enough that some have missed it. No, there have not been "severe earthquakes...in 10 different locations in France" - caused by rolling dead Americans or otherwise. That said, is the rest of the letter true? The numbers are accurate and can be confirmed, as the letter implies, from the American Battle Monuments Commission (Albeit with a little work).
The sentiment expressed in this letter is widely held and has driven some to action. Early in March, 2003, several U.S. lawmakers, irked by France's continued opposition to a military strike, introduced legislation to relocate the bodies of American war dead buried in France to the U.S. So far, these bills have seen little action (nor are they likely to, given the enormous cost of such an operation).
E-mail is an unreliable forum for spreading information. Already, there have been versions of the above with added comments and amended numbers. One version incorrectly claims that the American government pays "millions of dollars in rent" for these cemeteries. However, Burial Grounds administered by the ABMC in foreign lands are granted without cost by the host governments. Break this chain.