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The Eleventh Hour Of The Eleventh Day Of The Eleventh Month

I’m back and all is quiet in Paris. I hear no cars, no activity on the streets. It’s 11-11-03…Armistice Day. At 11 a.m. on 11 November 1918, the signing of the Armistice marked the moment when hostilities ceased on the Western Front. The “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” thereafter became universally associated with the remembrance of those who had died in the First World War.

On the first anniversary of the Armistice, 11 November 1919, two minutes’ silence was instituted as part of the main commemorative ceremony in Whitehall, London. King George V had personally requested all the people of the British Empire to suspend normal activities for two minutes on the hour of the Armistice. The two minutes’ silence was popularly adopted and it became a central feature of commemorations on Armistice Day.

On the second anniversary of the Armistice, 11 November 1920, the commemoration was given added significance with the return of the remains of an unknown soldier from the battlefields of the Western Front. Since then, the tomb of France’s Unknown Soldier has been sheltered underneath the arch of the Arc de Triomphe. Its eternal flame commemorates the dead of the two world wars, and is rekindled every evening at 6:30 p.m. Here, on every Armistice day, the President of the Republic of France lays a ceremonial wreath.

Thanks to the Returned Services Association and their informative Web site for this historical information:

Many monuments and museums are closed today. Those that are OPEN are:

Musée d’art Moderne, Le Centre Pompidou, Musée Dapper, Musée d’Erotisme, Musée Grevin, Institut Du Monde Arabe, Musée Jacquemart-André, Musée de Judaisme, Museé d’Histoire Naturelle, Musée d’Orsay, Pavillon de L’Arsenal, Musée Rodin, Musée Salvador Dali, La Tour Eiffel and La Tour Montparnasse.

Enjoy the peace in Paris.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]

P.S. Due to the holiday, Parler Paris Après Midi and are both closed.


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