France's last WWI veteran dies and receives honorsBreaking News
Italian-born Ponticelli, the last of more than eight million men who fought under French colours in the 1914-18 war that tore Europe apart, died on Wednesday at his home in a Paris suburb.
State officials across France held a minute of silence, and flags flew at half mast on public buildings for the ceremony led by Sarkozy and his predecessor Jacques Chirac, Prime Minister Francois Fillon and Italian Defence Minister Arturo Parisi.
The president laid a wreath in honour of the war's 8.5 million "poilus," the affectionate nickname meaning hairy or tough that had been given to French foot soldiers since Napoleonic times but became associated with World War I.
Germany's last veteran from World War I also died in January this year. There are now just nine living veterans worldwide of the conflict which France, Britain, Russia and later the United States, eventually won against Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Turkish-led Ottoman Empire.
comments powered by Disqus
- The Anthropocene epoch: scientists declare dawn of human-influenced age
- ‘No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start, and Was First Accused of Bias
- New Yorker profiles activist who's drawing attention to lynchings
- Wisconsin GOP senator wants to replace history professors with Ken Burns videos
- UT removes Confederate inscription that it previously said would stay
- NYT publishes historians' plea for the revival of political history
- Some Ohio University professors ditch the textbooks, and the prices
- Renowned Israeli Holocaust Historian: ‘If I Were a British Jew, I’d Be Worried’
- Heather Ann Thompson pries loose the long-kept secrets of Attica in her new book
- Lonnie Bunch remembers his first day on the job as director of the new black history museum