Brunssum, The Netherlands
– On 11th
November, on Hendrik Camp, a military ceremony took place to commemorate the 104th “Armistice Day”. The ceremony was led by Général de brigade (OF-6) Stéphan URO, French Senior National Representative, and attended by the French military community
The sacrifice of our soldiers obliges us, it reminds us that peace has a price
On 11th November 1918, at 11:00 am, the Armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, ending hostilities on the Western Front of World War I. Since then, “Armistice Day” is observed every year in France, and it is still today one of the country’s most important military commemorations.
In 2012, 11th November became the official day of remembrance – not only for those fallen during the First World War but also for all people who died in service of France. All around the country, ceremonies of mourning are held to honour all soldiers who have made and who continue to make the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their Nation, to preserve freedom and peace.
The blue cornflower (Bleuet de France) is worn as a symbol of solidarity of the Nation. It is a symbol of life among chaos. Despite the horror of the front, cornflowers were still growing on the battlefield during the war and were present in great numbers in Eastern France.
During the ceremony, a message was read from M. Sebastien Lecornu, Minister for the French Armed Forces, and Mrs Patricia Mirallès, Secretary of State for Veterans and Remembrance: “In all, nearly 10 million soldiers were killed, 3 million widows and 6 million orphans. The dead are almost as numerous as the civilians. […] Let us remember the soldiers who came from Africa, the Pacific, the Americas and Asia – these Allied soldiers who came to shed their blood for France and defend freedom with us on a land they did not yet know. […] The sacrifice of our soldiers obliges us, it reminds us that peace has a price,
and that we must now be united with those who were our adversaries
yesterday, because, as Anatole France wrote, ‘it is only with the past that we make the future’.”
This ceremony was an opportunity for General URO to award two medals to French officers, one Legion of Honor (the highest French decoration) and one National Order of Merit. He seized also this moment to present commendations from the French National Military Representative to SACEUR to three French military personnel involved in the certification process of the NRF 22.