Armistice Day

11 November 2008 will be the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day…. the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning — the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”.

Take a ride through any French town or village, and there’ll be a monument, or memorial to those lost in the First World War. Stop and read the names, and you’ll see that a lot of families lost more than one. Yet the French equivalent of the poppy, the paper cornflower whose blue colour recalls the French sky-blue uniforms, is rarely seen in the buttonholes of television presenters or politicians, and it is almost impossible to find one on sale.

Every year, a dwindling number of first world war veterans attend the Arc de Triomphe wreath-laying ceremony but this year none of the surviving 15 Frenchmen – aged between 105 and 109 – are well enough to take part.

Well, I’ll be doing my tiny bit tomorrow…. sporting a flower and a ribbon. Lest we forget.

3 thoughts on “Armistice Day

  1. No matter how bad the weather is, or how much agony were going through on the bike, it is nothing to what these heros endured on the battlefields and unlike getting on the bike they didn’t have a choice. 11 am I’ll be the there, yes lest we forget!

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