At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, a piece of paper was signed in a small French town bringing peace to Europe and the World from “the war to end all wars”. Armistice Day is celebrated in France as an official holiday (no school!), although much to my disbelief, I keep hearing people here say rather confidently that the holiday commemorates the end of the Second World War, instead of the first. This is shocking to me.
In some of my middle school classes we have been trying to learn about American holidays. I admit, we have some weird ones. Groundhog Day will never be understood by any of my students. But perhaps the fact that they don’t have a solid grasp on their own holidays, I can rest easier at night when I think about how they don’t understand mine.
Like on other holidays in Reunion, everyone goes to the beach. Here’s my favorite beach, a few miles from Saint Pierre.
Reunion is certainly an isolated place. Even if its only exposure to the rest of the world is limited to the perspective of mainland France, where all of Reunion’s TV channels come from, all of its news, and most of its income, I am sure that there were Reunionese soldiers who fought in World War I. They really ought to know why they celebrate Armistice Day.