12 November 2012

Armistice Day


Today we attended an Armistice Day ceremony at the French military cemetery in Gammarth Superior (Google maps: 36°53'52"N 10°18'47"E).  The ceremony was hosted by the French Embassy and the Office National des Anciens Combattants et Victimes de Guerre.  It was attended by the French Ambassador to Tunisia as well as other Ambassadors, dignitaries, defence and military attachés, members of the French community in Tunisia and other visitors.  The Tunisian national anthem and the French national anthem were sung by students from Lycée Gustave Flaubert and Lycée Pierre Mendès France in Tunis.  Here are several photographs from today. 




 A service of Remembrance was also held at the Cenotaph in London.  Here is a link to a BBC news website which alongside the article also has a poignant video clip showing images of London and the ceremony there as Big Ben strikes eleven o'clock and the bugles play the "Last Post".  
Armistice Day (which overlaps with Remembrance Day and Veterans Day) is celebrated every year on 11 November to commemorate the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.  After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in the countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Armistice Day remains an official holiday in France and Belgium In many parts of the world, people observe two consecutive minutes moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. local time as a sign of respect in the first minute for the roughly 20 million people who died in the war, and in the second minute dedicated to the living left behind, generally understood to be wives, children and families left behind but deeply affected by the conflict.

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