Sunday, November 21, 2010

Remembrance Day

Monument to the war dead of WWI and WWII

Last week and the week before I taught lessons about Remembrance Day, focusing on the differences between Canadian and French commemorations of this day. I had not brought a poppy with me from Canada when I left in September, and was surprised that poppies weren't also a tradition in France.

The biggest surprise, however, was when my students told me they did not really commemorate le jour de l'Armistice, as it is called here. The school held a ceremony the day before Remembrance Day, but attendance was voluntary and only one of my students told me they had attended. I think age and the different, more difficult history concerning the Résistance and collaboration during WWII, may have a lot to do with youth commemoration of Remembrance Day; some of my students told me that their families did not speak about their relatives' involvement in the war.

Despite this, I did see evidence of Armistice Day ceremonies being prepared for in Toulouse, and having taken place in SaintÉ (pictured above) when I returned from my trip.

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