Bonjour de Paris: Tiffany Clarke (5/20)
May 21, 2012
Bonjour de Paris! -
Sunday our class visited the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens for France's 7th Annual Day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade, Slavery, and its Abolition.
As has been tradition since the first commemoration in 2006, an official ceremony was held. The garden was closed to all but those who had been invited and security was tight at the one entrance that was open for the morning ceremony.In order to get into this ceremony, one needed a personal invitation by the President of France, and photo identification, such as a passport.
There were many famous and important people at this event. We got introduced to the President of the French Senate, French historians, famous artists, famous French athletes, and famous musicians. We even saw the newly-elected President of France at this event,President François Hollande (pictured)! There were a lot of VIPs; we were in the presence of France greatness at this commencement. I felt honored to say the least.
The ceremony takes place in order to acknowledge that slavery and the slave trade was a crime against humanity. During the ceremony, speakers stated how many countries were involved with the slave trade, and how France is the only country that recognizes slavery as a crime against humanity. The speakers discussed how remembering is a form of strength and forgetting is a form of weakness. Hence why they have this celebration. France must remember to never forget the past so they will always have a brighter future. This commencement ceremony symbolizes and represents France's values: freedom, equality, and fraternity.
At the end of the ceremony, attendees were invited to stroll around the garden to enjoy its beauty and to see the sculpture and commemorative plaque.Although the entire ceremony took place in French, I knew I was apart of history at this very moment!
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