Commemorations Galore

It is Armistice Day-a solemn occasion, a holiday, a remembrance.  On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, Germany formally surrendered, ending WWI.  As 2014 is the hundred year anniversary of the beginning of WWI, there have been many events throughout the year to honor the sacrifices of people and country.  Almost every village and definitely every parish church has a monument to the dead from their community.  And today, those monuments will be covered with red, white, and blue flowers, flags, and banners.  Church bells will ring, military bands will march and play, politicians will speak.  Many French will wear the bleuet de France, a symbol of memory and solidarity.  It is similar to the British poppy and is modeled after a cornflower.  (Both poppies and cornflowers continued to grow in the fields surrounding the trenches, providing evidence of life among so much gruesome death.)  England created a marvelous temporary monument to the 880,000 casualties of WWI.  A ceramic poppy field, one flower for every death, circled the Tower of London for weeks and today, the poppies will be sold and proceeds will go to veteran’s causes.  It is also Veteran’s Day in America…a day of store bargains, and for a few, a day off work.  To me, this is the essence of one of the differences between our countries and cultures.  I am moved by the memories of war here…partially because you can “see” battlefields and trenches, huge military cemeteries and obelisk monuments, blue cornflowers and red poppies.  In the US, the only wars that evoke that “experience” in me are two that were fought on US ground…the Revolutionary and the Civil War.  And I wish there was a flower to commemorate them.  (The pictures are from the internet.)

(u)   x(o)x

 

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About julijoyeux

I am looking to find myself in France. When I do, I'll share my pictures and stories with you!
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