Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day & le 11 Novembre.

Today is one of those few national holidays that both France and the U.S. have in common, Veteran's Day, known as Armistice Day (but often simply called "le 11 ovembre") in France and Remembrance Day in Britain and in the Commonwealth.
This may be very well be the last year when France still has any of its WWI Veterans (nicknamed "poilus") still alive. There were 15 of them in 2004 and there are only 6 left this year. (one just died last week).
Do you know, by any chance which country had the greatest number of WWI casualties?
I would have guessed Germany... but in fact, Russia did (then Germany, then France). I also found out that Romania had more casualties than the U.S. . The numbers are staggering. Nothing can compare. The following (source PBS) is a good reminder of how brutal WWI was.

Country Total Mobilized Forces Killed Wounded Prisoners and Missing Total Casualties Casualties as % of Forces
ALLIED AND ASSOCIATED POWERS
Russia 12,000,000 1,700,000 4,950,000 2,500,000 9,150,000 76.3
Germany11,000,0001,773,7004,216,0581,152,8007,142,55864.9
France 8,410,000 1,357,800 4,266,000 537,000 6,160,800 73.3
British Empire8,904,467908,3712,090,212191,6523,190,23535.8
Romania750,000335,706120,00080,000535,70671.4
Italy5,615,000650,000947,000600,0002,197,00039.1
United States4,355,000116,516204,0024,500323,0187.1








NOTE: France and the U.S. have the same number of national holidays, 10 in total and they have 3 of those holidays in common : Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Veterans’ Day. (source US Embassy in Paris)

2006

Day

Holiday

French/U.S.

Jan. 1

Sunday*

New Year's Day

American/French

January 16

Monday

Martin Luther King's Birthday

American

Feb. 20

Monday

President's Day

American

April 17

Monday

Easter Monday

French

May 1

Monday

Labor Day

French

May 8

Monday

Veteran's Day

French

May 25

Thursday

Ascension Day

French

May 29

Monday

Memorial Day

American

July 4

Tuesday

Independence Day

American

July 14

Friday

French National Day

French

Aug. 15

Tuesday

Assumption Day

French

Sept. 4

Monday

Labor Day

American

Oct. 9

Monday

Columbus Day

American

Nov. 1

Wednesday

All Saints' Day

French

Nov. 11

Saturday**

Veterans' Day

American/French

Nov. 23

Thursday

Thanksgiving

American

Dec. 25

Monday

Christmas

American/French

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