Thursday, November 14, 2013

Armistice Day Homage to Soldiers from France's Overseas Territories, Africa, and Indochina

Tirailleurs Sénégalais - 43rd Battalion 1916

Approximately 200 people gathered for the annual Armistice Day ceremony honoring foreign soldiers who have given their lives for France took place on quai Henri IV on Monday, November 11th.

Attendees at the ceremony
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Attendees who could not be seated beneath the tent sat on a nearby bench on the sidewalk.

More attendees
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Flag bearers flanked the plaque that commemorates soldiers from Africa, the French territories, and Indochina as the proceedings began.

Commemorative plaque
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Mme Danielle Apocale, General Delegate to the Overseas Departments of the City of Paris, led the ceremony.

General Delegate Danielle Apocale
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Flowers were laid, followed by music and a minute of silence.

Deputy Mayor Philippe Ducloux lays flowers
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Municipal Councilor Omer Mas Capitolin and Deputy Mayor Philippe Ducloux
stand before the plaque
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A young student named Thomas Ghysdel read a message from the Union Françaises des Anciens Combattants (French Union of Old Soldiers).

Thomas Ghysdel reads a message from l'UFAC
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There was a poetry reading by actor Pierre Heintz followed by an impassioned speech by Philippe Ducloux, deputy to the Mayor of Paris.

Pierre Heintz
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Deputy Mayor Philippe Ducloux
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The highlight of the ceremony was a poetry recitation by slammer Jean Yves Bertogal.

Jean Yves Bertogal
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After the event, local dignitaries posed with the leaders of numerous veterans' associations.

After the event
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Then everyone was invited to enjoy spicy hot chocolate and brioche. It was a warm, convivial end to a solemn ceremony on a bright, cold day.


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