mercredi 12 mars 2008

France's last veteran died

France’s last veteran of World War one, Lazare Ponticelli, died Wednesday, aged 110. President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed ‘the deep emotion and the enduring sadness of the whole nation’ after it was announced. From Italian origins, Ponticelli had fought in the trenches near Verdun in 1914, while he was 16. He was part of the more than 8 million Frenchmen who combatted the Germans and their allies.After Louis de Cazenave, who died in January, Ponticelli was the last survivor among the ‘poilus’ (the hairy ones), a phrase used to describe French soldiers who fought between 1914 and 1918. A national tribute to all France’s participants in the war will be held in the Invalides in Paris in the coming days.

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