In Remembrance: Armistice Day in Paris

Paris. Armistice Day. November 11. 10.50 am.

I am making my way towards the Arc de Triomphe. The French tricolore flaps within the arch in the cool wind.

Armistice Day Paris

Rugged up in a heavy coat and long scarf under grey autumn skies, I am about to witness the parade on Armistice Day.

Armistice Day Paris

In the back streets, gendarmes redirecting traffic and pedestrians politely ask us to stop. The official contingency with President Jacques Chirac passes right before us. Overwhelmed, I am too slow to raise my camera for a photograph.

Armistice Day Paris

We take our place along the Champs-Elysées with many others that have come to commemorate the end of World War I. Solemn moments punctuate the sombre event with a few people wiping away tears. Speeches are made, the military band plays, flag bearers (porte-drapeau) and men and women from military schools march in the parade.

Armistice Day Paris

Floral tributes are placed around Le soldat inconnu, the tomb of the unknown solider with the burning flame.

Armistice Day Paris

Mon oncle de Paris, my Parisian uncle who served in the French Air force, l’Armée de l’Air, was a porte-drapeau at official events, a function he undertook with much honour and pride. That year, he was unable to make the ceremony due to his ailing health.

Since that momentous day, the Arc de Triomphe has come to represent more that a commemorative monument or a Parisian landmark. Under the shadow and inscriptions of the Arc lies a memory that burns bright, Tonton bearing the flag.

Armistice Day Paris

My uncle bearing the flag under the Arc de Triomphe.

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In Remembrance: Armistice Day in Paris was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the founder and editor of Gourmantic. An avid scribe, she has taken pen to paper since the age of five. Her repertoire includes long works of fiction, short stories and travelogues. She is a winner of the GT travel writing competition, has judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and several cocktail competitions. She is also named in the Australian Bartender Most Influential List.

15 Comments:

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention New on G] In Remembrance: Armistice Day in #Paris - a personal post -- Topsy.com

  2. President Chirac? You may also be interested in reading my blog on the same topic, but outside of Paris! Thanks!

    • Hi John – Yes, this was during the time Chirac was President. I have been back to Paris since then but not during Armistice Day. I look forward to checking your blog!

  3. Gourmantic, you are developing into a full fledged thrilling writer.
    And to get that picture of Oncle Joseph, that was my biggest surprise.

    Keep up the muse, wa athifina.

    • It was a surprise for me as well . Thanks Mrs G.

    • Thank you for very much for the kind words. They mean a lot!
      He gave me that photo when we visited him that same year. I have another one of him with Queen Elizabeth II.

      I hope my muse is listening :)

  4. Corinne – What a lovely piece to honor Armistace day and your uncle.

  5. RT @Gourmantic: In Remembrance: Armistice Day in Paris http://bit.ly/bSisZD < lovely!

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter.

  6. Wow, an amazing post – sorry I couldn’t get to this sooner. The story of your uncle and the photos you were able to capture give us such a picture of the day & what it means to the French (& people around the world). Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Thanks Tuula. The day has since held a special memory for me. No matter where I am in the world, I think back to that day in Paris…

  7. Corinne, this is a wonderful tribute to Armistice Day and your uncle. What a moving experience that must have been to be there for the parade. Your words and photos convey the events and emotions so well. The photo of your uncle is a real treasure.

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