Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the Second World War heroes of the landing in Provence on August 15, 1944, a majority of African soldiers who wrote this “crucial page” of the history of France, imprinted it with “freedom and dignity“. African participation amounted up to a half of the French contingent, indigenous soldiers from what are now some two dozen independent countries.
“France has a part of Africa in it and on the soil of this Provence, this part was that of bloodshed”, Macron said during his visit to Saint-Raphaël (Var). Alongside President Guinean Alpha Condé and his counterpart from Cote d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara, French head of state laid a wreath in honor of died of this battle.
Emmanuel Macron has called on the mayors of France to “bring to life” the memory of African soldiers who fell in battle during the Second World War by giving their names to streets and squares, because the African fighters have not had the “glory and esteem that their bravery deserved”.
“We will never forget anything or anyone;” he said. “This is a crucial page in our history,” he added. “You have restored our country’s freedom and dignity.”
Two months after the landing of Normandy, 250,000 men of the French army, supported by more than 120,000 soldiers of the Allied forces, land on the shores of Provence.
A military choir sang “The Song of the Africans,” while some veterans chanted with them. Fighter jets flew over the necropolis, trailing blue, white and red smoke to represent the French flag.
The former President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy appeared among the invited by Emmanuel Macron to the ceremony 75th anniversary of the landing of Provence in Saint-Raphael, in the Var.