Things are done slightly differently here to what we have been accustomed to previously. There is no 2 mins silence on the dot of 11 am. Rather, at 11 am people will begin to gather in front of the mairie and about 11:15 a wreath will be laid under the plaque commemorating the deportation of two Charnizeens during the Second World War. Then all those who have gathered walk down to the graveyard. Here at the war memorial the names of all those lost will be read out, wreaths will be laid and small candles lit. The children always play a part.
People stop and spend a moment or two thinking of all those who lost their lives in these conflicts--each had a story, each had a life which touched others, each left a gaping hole in the family they left behind. Here in a village this is brought home rather forcefully as the majority of the names on the monument are the same as those who stand and remember them; descendants all.
We'll go down to the village for 11 am wearing our poppies and adding a little 'bleuet' [blue cornflower] sticker which is the French symbol. Poppies and cornflowers, both flowers of those fields in Flanders and symbols of so many lost in WWI and in all the wars that have followed.