Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembrance Sunday - L'Armistice

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th Month.

Except here in France the 11th hour isn't sacrosanct. But since the french make Armistice day a Public Holiday, I'll let them off.

Here's how it happened in Cherves Chatelars. The ceremony was scheduled for 11:30. The faithful gathered around the war memorial outside the mairie.

The ceremony itself started over the road. We all gathered behind The flagbearer (Marcel Rassat) and the wreath bearer.

At the appointed time we all crossed the road together.

Marcel dipped his flag 3 times in salute to the memorial, and a tinny recording of The Last Post was played from a tape deck in a Fiat Panda. No, I'm not making this up.
The flag outside the mairie was raised from its lowered psition and the wreath was laid at the foot of the monument.

Alyne, a neighbour and ex-colleague from the factory read a message from the veterans organisation

And then the mayor, Gerard Moran, read a message from the Secretary of State.

After that, two old gents read the list of names of the dead. One would say the name, and the other would then say "mort pour La France". There was about 30 names from the Great War, about 10 from the 1939-1945 war and one from IndoChina
Then there was a minute of silence.
The Marseillaise rang out tinnily from the Panda and we all went into the mairie for "un verre d'honneur" Pineau or Pastis.

There is a similar ceremony every year at the monument to the resistance, in the woods near Chatelars, on the 8th of May.

Lastly, although it has nothing to do with Armistice here is a picture of all our beasts in the same basket. To be fair, it was taken today, and anyway Jamon has a picture of his dog today, and I want to out-cute him. Plus the text "cute dogs and cats in a basket" will drive traffic my way.



At 2:25 pm, Blogger jamon said...

Aww, how cute is that?

At 7:24 pm, Blogger Swearing Mother said...

Hiya Stew, thanks for visiting my blog, lovely to meet you. Will be back to have a proper read of yours!

Best wishes.

At 12:12 am, Blogger travelling, but not in love said...

I like the concept of the last post being played on the fiat panda stereo.

Very classy. Very French.

A Frenchman once said to me "of course, just after the French won the war it was different..."

I don't need to tell you how I replied, do I?


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