Sunday, 2 November 2008

Soldat du Jura

Ist November and an empty All Souls' Day walk led us to a small stonemason's and sculptrice's workshop where the low whirring of a small hand held drill broke the quiet.

The Tailler de Pierre was a top a step ladder and smoothing the skin of the nearly finished monument to fallen French soldiers of the First World War. This was a new monument being carved 90 years after the end of that enormous conflict and would replace the crumbling original somewhere in the Jura, on the other side of Switzerland.

I have often been surprised, saddened and occasionally sometimes shocked at the sheer number of names of the fallen French on the monuments in the smallest town or village as I have travelled in this beautiful, complex and very proud country.

Differences of language and lack of understanding the tongue of someone who lives, at nearest, only 22 miles from the shore of Britain has hindered our ability to share the pain and through that become the friends that we truly should be.

Certainly so, 90 years after the end of The Great War...

There's another shot here....

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