Veterans Day, also known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, celebrates and honors all those who have served in the Military, specifically from World War I through today. This is a day for people to thank those men and women for their service. Click here to learn more about this holiday.
November 11th is Armistice Day in France and is a day to celebrate and remember the lives of soldiers lost in World War I and every other war.
Armistice Day Celebrations in France
Armistice Day is a national holiday in France, so most businesses and schools are closed for the day. Similar to many other countries, there is a minute of silence at 11:00 A.M. to mourn and remember all the lives lost in World War I and the wars following it.
There are usually some parades and speeches that happen while historic items and replicas are put on display for all to see. Locals visit monuments and cemeteries to honor those that passed with garlands, wreaths, flowers, etc. and some locals also attend special church services that are specifically held for Armistice Day. Mourning ceremonies are also held at the sights of major battles or memorials, such as the Tomb of the Unnamed Soldier in Paris or the Battle of Verdun at Fort of Douaumont.
Armistice Day is a day to remember and it is common for many families to attend parades or memorial services, but they also take moments to go visit the graves of family that they lost in wars.
Tips for Traveling to France during Armistice Day
The biggest tip for travel is to remember what Armistice Day is about and to respect all those mourning as well as the moment of silence that is held at 11:00 A.M.
History of Armistice Day
The Great War, or what is now known as World War I, was sparked in 1914 on June 28th when two members of the Austrian-Hungarian royalty, Archduke Franz and Sophie Ferdinand, were assassinated. Austria-Hungary and Germany were at war with France, England, Russia, and Italy within months. The Central Powers was made of Austria-Hungary and Germany while the other four countries made up the Allied Powers.
At the beginning of the war, America attempted to stay neutral and remain uninvolved as this was a European war. President Woodrow Wilson finally asked Congress to declare war after Germans sunk three American ships and attempted to get Mexico to invade Texas. In 1917, America officially joined the Great War as a member of the Allied Powers. With the combined force of five countries, the Central Powers were overcome and asked President Wilson to negotiate a truce in October of 1918 to end what they called “The War to End All Wars.” On November 11th, 1918, at the eleventh hour, the armistice was signed and is now forever remembered as Armistice Day.