November 11 Remembrance Day ceremonies

By calling Armistice Day on November 11 “Remembrance Day” we miss the point. The original Armistice Day in 1918 was a day of joy, celebrating the end of a hugely bloody war. As one newspaper at the time described it: “Whole country goes wild with joy at news of peace”.  

On a cold, wet November morning in the village of Rocles in central France, I attended a World War I centenary event unlike any I had seen before.

In the town square there is a small war memorial with a marble plaque listing the district's fallen sons, much as you find in every locality across France and Australia.

However, on closer examination, this one is a bit different. Instead of "Vive la France", it has palm leaves engraved in the stone, slogans calling for peace and acknowledges all the victims of war. How could this be?

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