The word “verbatim” still resounded like the reminiscence of a time when millions of people carried by hope had surprised themselves again, and for the last time, believing that the world was finally going to change, to belong to them, that this limousine descending the Champs Elysées drowned in a spring bathed in light, cutting through the crowd like Moses opening the red sea, would lead them to their promised land.
But of these recounted remarks there remained only snippets of sentences, pieces of a puzzle scattered on the frozen ground of an abandoned Xanadu, like soldiers fallen for France in the middle of a battlefield whose name they did not know.
The petals of faded roses, drops of scarlet blood spreading on an immaculate ground immersed in nuances of la Champagne and the les Ardennes, accompanied in their fall the great hours of a past, where the first paid holidays and its vacationers with an amazed look, drunk with happiness rushed to the beaches to frolic with the waves, without knowing that summer would be short-lived…
And the wall, a Berlin appendage falling in the mists of an autumn morning, redrawing the contours of a new world where the peacekeeper of a day with speeches filled with lyricism, in a crowded Bundestag, ready to explode, defied missiles from the cold.
Almost half a century had passed, and in this year 2020 a leaden screed fell on an annihilated France.
The Francisques were back, and the line of demarcation, a gaping wound, a vestige of collusion with the enemy, had given way to the fragmentation of France.
Ausweis and the deafening noise of the invader’s boots had been followed by other passes bearing this time the seal of Marianne.
The boots again, yes again, boots resounded in ghost towns, insinuatingly, in the name of a precautionary principle which have thrown the people into virtual prisons from which they could steal around a steamy window, or even a walk under high surveillance, a patch of inky gray sky. A micro second, a parenthesis in daily prison life.
An abandoned people, the soil of our history, who had given themselves to the Republic without knowing that it would become its executioner. This same people, humiliated, gagged, infantilized, deceived, martyred by the guarantors of the constitution, who as guardians of the temple had metamorphosed into guardsmen, even going so far as to erase the smile of this cheated people, de facto removing its identity, its dignity, like the medals of a fallen officer, making it a number without tattoos, with muffled barking.
Weakening in order to enslave, flouting human rights, flouting freedom of speech, all this so that the swine and their background providers roll in the mud until they are no longer thirsty.
How could the Republic have faltered like this, been on the edge of a bottomless precipice at the border of the darkness of a dictatorial obscurantism, when this same nation, with its head held high, had once fought entire battalions of Roman Legionnaires, the assaults of the Huns and even going so far as to decapitate royalty for a pittance?
How much longer would it take before people brandish their flag in the turmoil? A flag swept away for centuries by the fury of a world in perpetual motion?
A flag sheared by the sabers of the enemy, burned by the bites of bullets coming from nowhere, but always and still standing, defying with its azure sky and its red-stained blood those who would dare to trample it?
Today, more than ever, history still resonates with the sound of cannon and unusual cracklings lost in the forests and plains.
So many sacrifices, so many widows and orphans have marked this same history with their suffering. But how many would still fall under the bullets and endure martyrdom so that honor can finally be found, so that the world can free itself from its demons?
Liberty Leading the People
by Eugène Delacroix
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