On Armistice Day the Chantilly contingent joined representatives from Chantilly’s other sister cities, Epsom (yes, of the salt and the downs) in England (here’s an article reporting the British view of the activities) and one from Belgium. Candice Nancel (who had attended the first Chantilly Day) and serves as President of the American Friends of Chantilly and as the State Department’s cultural asset manager at the American Embassy in Paris, joined our contingent and carried the American flag.

The first activity of the day was the commemoration of the war dead buried in the Chantilly cemetery across the street from our hotel. Citizens of France, Germany, England, the United States and Brazil were honored. When the names of the French WWI dead were read, the participants responded “Mort pour la France”, translated as “Died for France”, a nice touch compared to the silence that accompanies such reading here in the USA.

The ceremonies then moved to the memorial to the dead of the world wars, where speeches were given and wreaths laid, with Michael taking part in the wreath laying.

The ceremonies then moved to the Chantilly Town Hall where Chantilly's sister cities were featured, ceremonial medallions given and guest books signed. That was followed by lunches for the visiting contingents, with the elected officials at one meal and the remaining participants at another. We met again at Chantilly’s mediatheque (library). Our library representatives noticed its very civilized hours, which included lunch time closures for that days the library was open both mornings and afternoons.

Late in the afternoon Anne and Charlie invited the sister city contingents to their house for high tea. Michael thanked our hosts and presented them with several keepsakes from Fairfax County.

That evening we attended a concert in the Great Stables given by local Chantilly students, bands, orchestras and choirs. The performance featured Chantilly students reading letters written during the war between a World War One French infantry man from Chantilly and his young family.

The next morning Jeff, Daria and Karrie headed home while Claudia and Michael accompanied Candice to Paris for two more days of exploration.

Armistice Day

Tuesday - 11 Nov 2014