Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 8: War

As you walk around Paris you notice that there are a million and one monuments to war. Wars won, wars lost, people who died in wars, people who planned wars. There are statues and arches and streets named after people and dates and battles. Before the Napoleonic age and Napoleon's crushing defeat at Waterloo, France was considered a huge power. They waged war as if it were going out of style, and the whole city still seems to live in it, in a perpetual war memorial.

Of course you also have literal war memorials like the two monuments we saw today, Les Invalids, both Napoleon's resting place and a museum dedicated to warfare from the middle ages all the way up to WWII, and The Arc De Triumph, a monument dedicated to Napoleon and his victories.

But you meet the Parisian people, and so far, i haven't found any that seem particularly warfaring (well there was that one waiter, but he might have just been having a bad day), but do they realize that they're living surrounded by reminders of the war? Is this something that they carry around all the time, and I'm just late to the party?

Bust of Liberty from the Arc De Triumph.  Doesn't she just

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