Algeria- France's ambassador to Algeria, Xavier Driencourt, laid a wreath in memory of soldiers and civilians who died during the First World War on Sunday, November 11, 2018.
The French Ambassador to Algeria, Xavier Driencourt, the Secretary General of the Algiers wilaya, the Defense Attaché of the French Embassy in Algeria, the German Ambassador in Algeria and some 200 guests , gathered at Bologhine Cemetery to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918 and the end of the First World War.
The strong Franco-German friendship symbolized by a common wreath laying at Bologhine Cemetery by the Ambassador of France @XMDriencourt and the German Ambassador to Algeria 🇫🇷🇩🇪 # centenary1918 # Commemoration1418 pic.twitter.com/DWqqgdWYl1
– France in Algeria (@ambafrancealger) November 11, 2018
Welcome speech by Xavier Driencourt, Ambassador of France
We are gathered today, Sunday, November 11, 2018, under this beautiful sun, at the Alexandre Dumas International High School in Algiers, to celebrate peace.
100 years ago, on November 11, 1918, on a train parked near the city of Rethondes, France, the Allies and Germany signed the Armistice. It marked the end of the deadly fighting that hit Europe in the last four years.
Followed, shortly afterwards, by the cessation of fighting on all other continents, that day symbolically marked the end of World War I, a terrible period of history that claimed the lives of 18 million people, including 8 millions of civilians, experienced by all and in all places, and whose sacrifice and memory compel us.
This first world conflict has shaken every continent, every people. He has entrenched in the collective memory the horrors of the trenches, the bombings, the "broken jaws". He left forever in our minds words that we no longer pronounce, even today, without emotion: Verdun, Funchal, Tannenberg, Dardanelles.
From the Pacific to Africa, Asia and the Middle East, to the American coasts, and of course to Europe, all peoples have been bruised by this conflict, without excluding countries that have remained neutral. For the first time in such a massive way, civilians were put to use – women experienced unprecedented mobilization – just like the peoples under the yoke of the many colonial empires, whose participation and bloodshed will never be forgotten. .
We remember and remember this First World War, as well as all the other conflicts that have unfortunately marked modern history, is a duty in the name of victims, but also in the name of peace. Now, I realized this myself by preparing this speech, it is much easier to speak of war than of peace, to evoke rather the past than the future. This observation questions
In the words of Aristide Briand, pronounced before the International Association of Journalists accredited to the League of Nations, on September 16, 1930, "peace is a difficult undertaking! "It is a singular thing, that after having lived the horrors of the last slaughter, it is still necessary to seek, to make men understand that this must end"; for that, "peace does not need failing hearts, nor faltering wills: it is a hard work to pursue, and this work, it needs not many men to serve, but stubborn hearts, men whom the critics do not prevent from accomplishing their task. "
Peace is not a concept, an illusion. Peace is lived, felt, observed in a very concrete way in the life of each day. It is the opportunity offered to all to live without fear; to be able to express oneself freely; to be able to work, to move, to make projects; it is the possibility given to parents to see their children grow up.
Beyond the end of violence, peace is built through solidarity in the face of hardship, openness to the world, culture, social diversity, economic prosperity. It is a permanent job, to continue with care and demand. It is the desire to always keep open the thread of dialogue and mutual understanding. It is the art of patiently weaving a net impervious to the risks and temptations of war
This peace is terribly fragile, constantly questioned, often threatened. There is no country in the world that has not been wounded, that has not suffered violence in its flesh. Even today, major conflicts are shaking us: I think of Syria and Iraq, Yemen and Libya, the Sahel, the Congo, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Afghanistan, and Burma, and so many more. Our thoughts and efforts are and must be directed to their lasting resolve.
Today we share a common vision and a shared vision: to silence the sound of arms, to assist vulnerable people, to encourage lasting stability and development. We are all heirs to a great hope: that of preserving future generations of war.
Because, can one make peace alone? No, of course. To achieve this, listening and respect for the other are indispensable, dialogue and kindness are necessary. To make peace with others, to make peace with oneself perhaps: peace is above all a behavior that we must constantly watch.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very happy to welcome you today to the walls of Alexandre Dumas International High School, to celebrate peace, in a fraternal and friendly spirit. You are here at home and I welcome you
I am honored by the presence of so many ambassadors, attached, as I am, to the values of friendship and trust which now bind our nations, and anxious to always defend harmony among peoples . The geographical diversity that is ours this afternoon testifies, if it were necessary, of the universality of the defense of the peace. I am delighted to be among you, multiple citizens of the world but speaking with one voice, in this high school which symbolizes education and therefore the future of our humanity.
We thus echo the will of the President of the French Republic to make this centenary a momentum towards the future, bringing together in Paris the heads of state and government, elected officials, regional and international organizations and civil society in the framework of the International Peace Forum, a unique framework for dialogue to advance global governance for the benefit of the people.
In this regard, I greet the United Nations Resident Coordinator, the Ambassador of the European Union and the Head of Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross. By their concrete actions in many countries, often in spite of the dangers, by their different but complementary actions, their institutions act for peace. Above all, they embody the principles of humanitarian aid, international cooperation and the defense of freedoms.
I am delighted to be able to participate in this Meeting for Peace and the commemoration of the Centenary of the Armistice here in Algeria. I wish to sincerely thank the Algerian authorities for their support and unreserved availability.
Algeria sends a strong message of "living together in peace", beyond all differences, a message that the United Nations has embraced by instituting an international day on May 16 that celebrates respect and listening to others in a spirit of peace and harmony.
I can not end this speech without a special thought for the children present with us today, students of the international high school and Alexandre Dumas primary school, the small school of Hydra, the Italian school Di Roma, and the Russian school, as well as for their teachers and supervisors. Without their presence, the word "Peace" would not have had the same depth. It is through intergenerational links that the values of humanity and fraternity will take hold.