Monday, November 11, 2013

Remembrance Day

168 Saint-Cyriens gave their lives in the First World War.  This morning I attended the inaugural ceremony for a fountain next to the City Hall in Saint-Cyr which signifies and honors their lives.  The ceremony was attended by the Mayor of the city, the president of associations, military, police and firefighters, schools, and families.

It was a clear, cold morning, which made my flip flops a special treat for anyone in my vicinity...  They drew some attention away from the weighty topic of the day and added a little (unintended) levity to peoples' mornings.  I got the classic stare, the look + laugh, the double look, the triple look (which is a lot like the double look, but includes disapproving eye contact), the foot to face stare, the foot to face and back to foot stare (which clocked in at an amazing twenty three seconds!), and the very nice "Aren't you cold?"  I was most uncomfortable and, needless to say, had a difficult time focusing on how deep and beautiful this moment was in the history of the city of Saint-Cyr.

Nevertheless!  The eleventh of November is a national holiday in France that commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany on "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month".  The fountain remembers the 168 fallen soldiers and innocent men, women, and children from Saint-Cyr who died for France in World War I.  The inaugural ceremony was quite beautiful, and (appropriately) French.  Afterwards there was a snack!

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