* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Another village tribute

Village tribute 1

Once again, France has had to hold an official moment of national mourning.  Communities all over the country, from small villages to the largest metropolises, gathered their local residents together for the traditional minute of silence and the laying of wreaths by the communes and other groups.

Our village was no exception, and we joined in to show our personal sympathy with many of the local friends we've made.

Village tribute 2
The village officials addressing the locals
Unfortunately, our mayor had prior obligations (a meeting on safety, no less), but the rest of the available village officials were present.

Because we try to be involved in our village, we know all these people, and it's quite sad to keep having to congregate with them for this type of activity.

It just wasn't that long ago we did this before.

After a few opening statements, several groups laid their wreaths at the war memorial that just about every community has had since the human devastation of World War I.

Village tribute 3
From the elected officials
Village tribute 5
From the activities committee
Village tribute 4
From the veterans

Then everybody showed respect for the victims by a minute of silence, followed by singing the national anthem.  It was interesting that they also sang the local anthem, Nissa La Bella (Nice The Beautiful), although most of the non-native locals had to struggle a bit with the local dialect words.

Village tribute 6
The local police representative
Village tribute 7
Singing the national anthem

Village tribute 8
Locals of all ages paying tribute
Village tribute 9
Many of our friends

Village tribute 10
Lighting candles
Village tribute 11
Adding personal flowers

After the official tribute by the local dignitaries, individuals added their contributions. 

Some lighted candles, others added their own flowers to
the official ones.

Village tribute 14
The local war memorial

It seemed like most people didn't want to leave right away, despite it being the dinner hour. 

Having lived in large communities my whole life, it's really interesting now to be part of a typical village lifestyle and to personally know so many of the people who tend to be fairly involved in local activities.  We do our expatriate best to join in.

As most of you don't live this lifestyle, either, I thought you might enjoy seeing our local monument to the fallen citizens of the village, which has become an important congregation area whenever a memorial moment takes place.

I also thought you might like to see the pretty wreaths that were laid, unfortunately this time in sorrow for current events rather than marking a historical date.

Village tribute 12
The official wreath
Village tribute 13
Representing various aspects of village life

Earlier in the day, the nation as a whole held a collective minute of silence.  I lifted a few photos from the internet to show you how it looked in Nice.  Apparently there were some 30,000 people who attended the fireworks, while there were around 42,000 who came out in homage for the victims.

Village tribute 15
A drone's view
Village tribute 16
Gathered together in solidarity

In chatting with others at our local event, I discovered a very sad story.  We are able to see several sets of fireworks from surrounding villages from our balcony, so we don't make the effort to hassle the traffic and parking to see the big Nice offering (I'm sure we've really been missing some beautiful displays). 

While we were watching the pretty presentation of one village across the river, a whole extended family from that village skipped their own display to go down for the big Nice event.  Six out of seven did not return home.  An adult son lost his wife, stepson, both in-laws, and both parents — his whole immediate family.

Village tribute 17
Adding garbage to ugly rocks, as well as spit
So I thought it interesting to see how the marker for the driver evolved between when we saw it and just one day later.

Village tribute 18
Apparently something was burned

And now I will leave you on a more positive note with how the outpouring of love for his victims continued to grow at the designated memorial spot since we were there the day before, and how it all looked surrounded by the show of solidarity by the locals at the official moment of tribute.

Village tribute 19
An overall view I couldn't get myself
Village tribute 20
The forces of positive over evil

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