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Hi Friends,

Amiens, not far (20km) from the WW1 frontline, is the town I was born. For many reasons I am very sensitive to the respect we must pay to all veterans, whatever the country they come from.

Today, we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the second battle of Somme, known also battle of Amiens, that started on August 8[SUP]th[/SUP] 1918.


Let's not forget our grandfathers or grand-grandfathers who came from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, New-Zealand, USA, and died on the Somme (1916 and 1918) battlefields.


I have attached a link to one of the sites that briefly describe this battle and its aftermaths.


https://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/battles-and-fighting/land-battles/amiens/


Now, a few personal comments.


To me, WW1 was a stupid european civil war between countries which kings were Queen Victoria's descendants (nicknamed Grandmother of Europe) : Kaiser Wilhelm 2, Tsar Nicholas 2, King George V, King Constantin of Greece etc. All these guys were cousins and used to spend vacations together … So, this why I consider the German and Allies soldiers of WW1 deserve the same respect.
It may sounds strange, but to me they were brothers in arms, whatever the side of the front line they were fighting on. It is so true that today, a former president of the German Republic has attended the commemoration in the Amiens cathedral.


Participating in the ceremony were representatives of all the countries listed above. For instance, Great Britain was represented by Prince William and PM Teresa May, high-ranking people isn't it.
But as for France … where was our dear, young, proactive, efficient, etc president ??? On vacation in south of France !
He didn't deign to waste a day of his holidays. He is swift at giving lessons to everybody but less swift when it comes to set an example. He flew on 2 occasions to Moscow to watch the French soccer team during the recent World Cup but he cannot fly to Amiens for such a commemoration!


Well, back to the subject of mymessage:


Let's not forget our veterans.
 

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I suspect most Americans don't appreciate France's sacrifice in the Great War. I didn't until I drove across the French country side and encountered the numerous cemeteries labeled simply, "1914-1918." It must have been a horrible time for all involved.
 

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Faraim is right. The French people get a lot of grief here in the form of sarcastic jokes for not putting up as much of a fight as some think they should have early on in WWII. We can't forget that the WWI Western Front WAS France- they lived (and died) it for 4.5 years, in a time when humanity wasn't commonplace, and they lost nearly a generation of soldiers- 20 years later they had little fight left and not a lot of countries willing to jump in and help them out. They had already lived through hell once nobody can predict the future.

I had the opportunity to visit this cathedral a little over a month ago. Here are a couple of shots...sorry if they are sideways... they aren't in my file.
 

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The young of today (and I place the young president of France in that category) only know about these WW1 and even WW2 battles from their history classes in school. They just do not relate! SAD!
Hi Saintclair,


Actually Pr. Macron is a very very well educated guy, for sure better than the other presidents (Sarkozy and Hollande) we have had before him. I have no doubt he knows well the history of the country he leads, especially regarding the battle of Amiens, since he was born in Amiens (just like me, but nobody is perfect …). The point is that he seems to have dark sides, we only discover now, that push him to keep a low profile.

Just consult this topic in Wikipedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benalla_affair,and you'll get a flavor on what is going on with Macron and his friends. Not sure the US press covers that much this affair.

An other article in the local newspaper (Courrier Picard) is interesting, further the absence of Macron in the commemoration. It reflects our feelings, as friends of the British / Aussie / Canadian / US and other families that lost members in WW1 and as Amienois (residents of Amiens). Double affront as said by the newspaper.
http://www.courrier-picard.fr/128751/article/2018-08-08/macron-et-philippe-absents-amiens-laffront-est-double


Cheers.
 

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I sometimes wonder what if the US stayed out of ww1? Would the fighting countries have reached a truce after so many died and the stalemate of trench warfare? Would there have been a WW2? Don't get me wrong I'm not blaming the US for anything. With the US entering the war the Germans should have sued for peace before the Yanks got over there.
 

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I know it is now somewhat common to honor all veterans of WWI, but I will not honor Germany's veterans of WWI, or WWII. When that country's forces invaded neutral Belgium as part of their Schlieffen Plan to defeat France, they got the UK, who had guaranteed Belgian neutrality, and its Empire involved which then caused all major world powers except the US to be involved in 1914. Germany wanted that war and had begun preparing for it about twenty years earlier by instituting a crash program of naval ship building to counter Britain's command of the sea. Before that, German unification in the late nineteenth century unbalanced Europe's fragile equilibrium. With Prussia, and its well known militarism, as the driving force of German unification, all of Europe's nations knew they were in for a very problematic future. The end result: UK and Empire - 1,000,000 Deaths
France - 1,500,000 "
US - 53,000 "
Italy - 460,000 "
Russia - 1,700,000 "

Those are just our and our ally's deaths. The Central Powers were as bad. I won't get into WWII which was worse for the US. Some will say, "Yes, but if it wasn't for those war reparations forced on Germany we wouldn't have had WWII." True as far as it goes, but Germany did not have to go to war because of those, they once again wanted to and did. Perhaps it is politically correct to forgive, forget and honor, but how can one forgive and forget all the deaths of those young men who never came home. German armies invaded France and killed millions of French and British and Commonwealth soldiers who defended that country, and then thousands of Americans who went to do the same.

Forgive and forget if you choose, but I say "Forget, Hell!"
 
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