Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Celebrations: Armistice Day, 2015

The United States recognizes its veterans today with a national holiday but the name no longer specifically refers to the date of the truce that ended the major hostilities of World War I on 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

But in France the national holiday is still known as "Armistice de 1918" and every town and village across the country has its "Monument aux Morts." Here is the schedule of events that happened in Roquebrun today.

[Roquebrun's Monument aux Morts, on FĂȘte nationale, 2013.* From my personal collection]

Historian Nicolas Offenstadt spoke about the effects of World War I on France** in an interview last year.
"Yes, it is an historical event, but we are still feeling the consequences in almost every aspect of our lives. For ordinary people, memories of the war remain strong, anchored as they are in narratives of millions of French families. 
It is also an important time to reflect on France’s experience as a nation. The Great War was a colossal and traumatic event. Millions were killed. It was a demographic, human and economic trauma on a massive scale that had a profound and lasting effect on all those countries that took part."
The U.S. didn't enter the war until April 6, 1917, and the first American troops didn't arrive in France until three months later. My grandfather James Chappell Warren Jr. served in the Navy and my grand-uncle Pete Slater was in the Marines.

*Sadly I don't have photos of today's celebration as we're driving to Provence tomorrow and have lots of things to get done before we leave.
**To see a list of casualties of the war, there's a table here.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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