In 2014, France has a date with its history with the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the French liberation from June and with the centenary of the First World War this autumn.
Through the commemorations and festivities organised across the country, France will pay tribute to soldiers of all origins who fought and died in its name. For Kader Arif, minister of State for Veterans and Remembrance, it is an opportunity to "transmit a memory that constitutes one of the pillars of citizenship and living together to the younger generation".
Some 2,500 initiatives have been approved for the 100th anniversary celebrations of the First World War and over 800 for the 70th anniversary of the French liberation. These are the result of action taken by the Government, decentralised State departments as well as local authorities and actors in the world of tourism both in France and its overseas departments. For the commemoration of the Normandy Landings, the Basse-Normandie region is expecting around eight million tourists, compared to the usual five million.
The 70th anniversary of the Liberation...
18 Heads of State are invited to the commemoration of the Normandy Landings on 6 June 2014 in Normandy. Access to the official commemoration sites will be subject to specific conditions: only invitation-holders will be granted access. Nonetheless, areas will be open to the general public in the immediate vicinity of these sites. To keep up-to-date with the latest news concerning the agenda for all the events, consult the dedicated website le70e-normandie.fr.
On 15 August 2014, 21 African nations whose soldiers participated in the Liberation of France will be invited to the commemorations of the Allied landings in the south of France.
and the First World War
A moment of national unity, the celebration of the First World War centenary is one of the highlights of the five year period. On 7 November 2013, the President of the Republic revealed the main events set to mark the years 2014-2018.
As part of the First World War centenary, 80 nations involved in the War of 14-18 will participate in a procession on 14 July. The 100th anniversary of the declaration of war, on 3 August 1914, will be marked by a ceremony at Vieil-Armand, in the Vosges, which will be attended by the French and German presidents. To pay tribute to the soldiers from all over the world who fought in France, a memorial will be inaugurated on 11 November 2014 in Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. The 600,000 names of soldiers from all origins who died between 1914 and 1918 in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region will be engraved on the memorial in alphabetical order.