Sunday, August 24, 2014

Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.

In the late afternoon a small ceremony by the war memorial. The centenary of the Battle of the Frontiers - the bloodiest day in French history. 27,000 dead. Most local farm boys. Five of them villagers. The mayors great uncle is the first name on the memorial. The Old Farmers great uncles name is second. 

In the evening the Fete de la Liberation. A commemoration of another war but a happier event. The mayor reads out a speech about how the village liberated itself from oppression. "Se liberer" a concept difficult for Anglo-Saxons to comprehend. The lady in the purple hat sings a verse of the Marseillaise.

A screen is set up by the graveyard wall to show a light comedy about a Parisian family coming to live in the countryside. Barbecues smoke away on the village green, Jack Russell's run riot. Bob and Sophie meet Jacques - the French teachers new black Labrador. Sophie is not impressed. A strong gust of wind blows the screen over. After twenty minutes of trying to get it to stand up again normal service has not been resumed. We, and two disappointed PON's, leave.


Bella Roxy & Macdui said...

27,000 in a few hours. Unimaginable.

Jean said...

At least in Europe we seem to have learned the futility of war. There were no winners. A whole generation of young men was lost, for nothing.

Unknown said...

War always loses. The Lab may become a friend of Sophie's yet.

VirginiaC said...

I continue to admire how the French commemorate all historical events, but I wonder what happens when the older generations die, will the young ones continue the traditions?
Are there any young people at these events at all?
Sophie may yet become enamoured with the black Lab at a later date...she may just be playing her usual Diva self.