Thursday, March 20, 2008

Economist obituary: the last French foot solder of World War I

I'd wondered if any were yet living.
Lazare Ponticelli |

... On March 17th he had his wish, or most of it: a state funeral for all the poilus at Les Invalides, and then a simple family burial. The government badly wanted this last foot-soldier to be memorialised; but he preferred to be uncelebrated and ordinary, even in some sense forgotten, and thus the more symbolic of all the rest.
There may be others, for a year or so, in Germany or England or elsewhere.

It's a good obituary.

I am grateful I've never been in a war. I hope my children avoid them.

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