Conservative Le Figaro is headlining “1918-2018” France celebrates its heros and features as a supplement a re edition of its issue that came out in 1918 after the armistice was signed.
In its editorial today's Le Figaro looks at how the French population was so unified in the bloody war effort and ponders “what is patriotism today?” before urging its readers to be moved by their bravery of our ancestors and to be grateful for their sacrifice.
Winning a war and losing peace
Leftist Libération is moved in a different manner and writes on its front page over a photo of a war cemetery.
“It should have been the last of the last but despite this, the 11th of November armistice only marked the start of a century of conflict.”
“With the rise of nationalism, we should celebrate an agreement rather than a victory.”” France, The United-Kingdom and the United States have won the war but are about to lose peace” screams one of their retrospective article.
Libération also pays tribute to France's colonial troops and deplores their mistreatment by the French army and government, during and after the war. Over 200 000 sub Saharan African soldiers took part in the European conflict. The paper notes that paying hommage to their contribution and sacrifice is something French President Emmanuel Macron is trying to ammend.
Communist L'Humanité says the 1914-1918 conflict was"neither fatal nor necessary" and notes that this years' commemorations of the 11th of November should lead us to reflect on what brings about the worst in humanity and how the flee the instrumentalisation of the common memory.
What has changed in 100 years?
Catholique La Croix tells its readers the need for peace is urgent and features a photos of a child in Darfur holding bullets. It writes that 100 years of the 1918 armistice, the way wars are carried out and people live through them has drastically changed. " One the ground, some peacemakers have had some success in their endeavours" and ponders how peace can be made at a time of diffuse wars, which have been enabled by new technologies such as drones. Anyone can be hit, anywhere and at anytime.
Over 60 heads of state have made their way to France for the commemoration of the First World War with amongst others a number of delegations from the African continent such as Paul Kagame of Rwanda and King Mohammed VI of Morocco notes Libération.
Paris on high security alert with over 60 heads of state.
Le Parisian has decided to angle its front page on the high security measures that have been taken. Indeed some 10 000 army and police officers have been deployed across the capital. Apparently the US delegation benefits from extra protection from the secrete service. Along with a peace summit, which the United-States president will not be attending, a massive anti-Trump rally is expected this afternoon Place de République. Organisers of the commemorative ceremonies are worried violent Black Bloc protesters will descend on the French capital.
Libération says that through the organisation of commemoration ceremony, and the peace summit, Macron will be calling for greater cooperation between states. Centrist Le Monde notes that although the anniversary could have been a great show of power for Macron and his German counterpart Angela Merkel, French German relations are currently pretty low.