Hand and hand, French and German leaders mark Armistice Day

By Daily Maverick Legacy 12 November 2009

German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined French President Nicolas Sarkozy to honour the fallen of World War I – the first time a French and German leader joined together at Paris’ Arc de Triomphe to mark the occasion, although François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl had gone together in 1984 to the site of the battle of Verdun for a day of reconciliation. This came two days after Sarkozy had been in Berlin to celebrate the fall of the Wall. The Parisian commemoration also marked the first time a German leader participated in a public ceremony of Armistice Day/Veterans’ Day. Commenting on the moment, Sarkozy said, “German orphans wept for their slain fathers in the same way as French orphans did, German mothers felt the same pain as French mothers as they stood before the coffins of their fallen sons.” Read more at the NYTimes