Monday, May 16, 2011

Pomp and Circumstance

There's always something going on around the Arc de Triomphe.  And with all the traffic that whizzes around there day in and day out, no lane markings and the rule of priority to those entering the circle, it's always has a kind of crazy and kinetic feel that is a strange contrast to the majesty and sheer size of the monument.

When I happened by on May 4, there was a larger than typical ceremony underway so I stopped for a bit to take it all in.  (The flame that marks the tomb of the unknown soldier is usually rekindled each night at 6:30; what was going on mid-day on this date, I can't tell you.)   The mass of police and plain clothes security men made it clear that someone important was expected.  And sure enough, the traffic stopped for a few moments to let a limo and security detail to pass through and who should emerge but the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë.  The band played, speeches were made, and I moved along.

Security guys look the same the world over.  But how about that general on the right -- channeling De Gaulle!

Many thanks to Mme. Josiane Flodrops, a French tourist from Brittany with whom I chatted, and who was kind enough to e-mail these photos to me since my own camera was in the shop.

1 comment:

Starman said...

We caught the eternal flame ceremony by pure chance.

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