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
- Carla Hayden says Frederick Douglass "might have a lot to do with the fact that I am a librarian”
- Baton Rouge area Catholic school responds to student's racist essay about Black History Month
- How the ‘guerrilla archivists’ saved history – and are doing it again under Trump
- Trump visits the National Museum of African American History and Culture
- New Book Says Bob Woodward Burned Hillary Clinton’s Ghostwriter
- Historian and Antiwar Activist Marilyn Young Dies at 79
- Trump Chooses Historian H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser
- Holocaust Historian Deborah Lipstadt Explains Why People Believe Trump's Lies
- Princeton’s Harold James warns World War Three is now a "serious threat”
- Israeli schools' history lessons create good soldiers, says pundit