Sunday, 5 April 2015

Paris Peace Monument

Pic of Paris's peace monument
Mur de la Paix in Paris
There is a peace monument near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The Mur de la Paix (Wall for Peace) was built as a temporary structure in 2000. Like its more elderly "temporary" neighbour from 1889, it remains. It bears the word "Peace" in 32 languages and 13 alphabets. It was inspired by Jerusalem's Wailing Wall.

Pic of Eiffel Tower seen through the columns of the peace monument
Eiffel Tower,  its "temporary" neighbour

The Peace Monument's location on the Champs de Mars is considered controversial. It has associations with war. Yet the chosen position is backed by French custom. Personally, I think it makes a timely reminder in troubled times. Paris seemed very nervous when I visited in March. Security was high after January's Charlie Hebdo attack and the Tunisian Museum attack during my stay.

Sadly, the peace monument was fenced off. Accès interdit (Entry forbidden). This seems an apt metaphor for peace in much of the world. Peace is fenced off - out of reach.

Sign forbidding entry to the peace monument

I walked away from the monument. I found myself at the gates of the Military School nearby, just as the young soldiers were emerging on Friday evening. Their girlfriends, friends and family had been eagerly awaiting them there for the weekend. I hope that those young French soldiers, and others like them, will always return to their loved ones with smiles and laughter.

On this Easter weekend there seems to be more hope for peace. An agreement was reached with Iran over its nuclear programme this week.

The Red Cross has been very actively involved in helping ordinary people caught up in crisis this week. It helps people in conflict and disaster zones whatever their religion. It is the world's largest humanitarian organisation. It operates as the Red Crescent in Muslim countries and is known as the Croix Rouge in French-speaking countries. The Red Cross responded to the fight against Ebola in Africa. It also helps with crises closer to home. My son James and I will be doing a sponsored walk over London's Bridges in May. Your support would be greatly appreciated however large or small via our Virgin Money Giving page.

Karen Andrews (Netto) runs Anglicity Ltd. She is an entrepreneurial French to English translator, editor, content writer and marketing consultant. 

Contact: for further information on Anglicity's services.

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