WVF Deputy President attends 8 May Commemorations in Paris

The Deputy President of the WVF, Mr. El Mostafa El Ktiri, travelled to Paris to attend the commemorations held to comemorate the 74th anniversary of the armistice of the Second World War 8 May

At the request of Mr. Dan-Viggo Bergtun, President of the WVF, the WVF Deputy President travelled to Paris in May 2019 to represent the WVF at the commemoration of the 74th anniversary of the armistice of the Second World War, held by the French Head of State, Mr. Emmanuel Macron.

On 7 May 2019 the Deputy President took part in the religious ceremony organized on this occasion, at the Mosque of Paris. This important religious event brought together a host of political and diplomatic figures, intellectuals and academics, veterans and religious figures representing Muslim, Jewish and Christian religious communities, many of whom came to attend the religious ceremony held in tribute to the brave fighters who died on the field of honor in the various heroic battles that enameled all European fronts during the Second World War, to defend the ideals of Peace, Freedom, Dignity and the rights of peoples existence and against the Nazi and fascist hegemony in Western Europe, Central and Nordic countries and on both shores of the Mediterranean.

Prayers, litanies and religious chants were pronounced by the representatives of the religious communities represented and by the numerous participants.

The religious preaching ceremony was held in an atmosphere of recollection, piety, tolerance and living together as well as a duty of remembrance and recognition to the veterans who sacrificed themselves and paid with their lives the price of peace and security in the post-war world, with all the generations that have succeeded one another.

On Wednesday 8 May 2019, a grand ceremony was held at the Arc de Triomphe memorial, in the presence of civil and military figures, former Presidents of the French Republic, the diplomatic corps accredited to Paris, parliamentarians and local councilors as well as representatives of political parties, various associations of the veteran community and civil society.

The President of the French Republic arrived at 11:00, went to the Arc de Triomphe where the national anthem was sung and bowed to the tomb of the unknown soldier and the flame of remembrance, under the Arc de Triomphe. He then greeted the flag bearing veterans lined up before inspecting the troops from army, air and navy units. He finally went to greet the guests in the tribunes.

The Deputy President was greeted by the French President, who welcomed him and thanked him for coming to represent the WVF at the official ceremony on May 8th.

In addition, the Deputy President had talks with some personalities present at the ceremony, including the President of the Association of Veterans of the Medical Corps and with the Vice-President of UNAC (National Union of Veterans Affairs of France).

Other contacts and exchanges of views were undertaken with some civil society and associative actors, representing both France and African countries on the same commemorative day of the historic event of May 8, 1945. In addition, souvenir photos were taken with many of them, including volunteers of the French Red Cross and young schoolchildren accompanied by their supervisors, present at the ceremony.