Ici est tombé pour la libération…

Ici est tombé pour la libération…

ee-SEE ay taw-BAY poor lah lee-bay-rah-seeYAW…  (Click below for the audio file.)  

Here, for me, is the essence of Memorial Day: a marble plaque on a Paris   street corner. Here fell, for the liberation,…. Soldiers, civilians, underground resisters, sailors, airplane pilots, nurses all over the world fight for the freedom they treasured and most of us enjoy today.

This plaque commemorates the death of one Michel Guillois, a police officer (gardien de la paix, gaar-deeYAA duh lah PAY: ironically, a peacekeeper)  who was killed during the week preceding the liberation  of Paris.

The French honor two dates related to the World Wars: le Jour de la  Libération (Liberation Day), memorializing August 25, 1944, just five days after Michel Guillois was killed; and le Jour du Souvenir (Remembrance Day), November 11, formerly known as Armistice Day in the U.S. and now called Veterans Day.

What if you lived in a city where hundreds of plaques, on street corners and house façades, in churches and on banks, were staring back at you right at your eye level, calling your attention to these people you never knew? Would you walk by with your eyes on the sidewalk? Or would you pause to wonder what made each one of these individuals important to you?

(If you want to read a little more about these plaques, go to this link. The link within the article does not always work, but keep trying. The photos of the plaques are very moving.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s