Scheduled for a long time in Invalides, the tribute to the marshal has always hit the figure of Philippe Pétain. Emmanuel Macron's presence, confirmed by time, was finally ruled out just to avoid the controversy that broke out on Wednesday.
From the beginning, the subject was caught. How to honor the margins of the Great War when one of them later became the head of the Vichy government? On Wednesday, the mere mention of Marshal Pétain de Emmanuel Macron will be burned to dust. "He could have been a great soldier during the First World War and led to fatal elections during the second," said the chairman of the Charleville-Mezieres Ardennes.
The government tried to stop the fire on Thursday. Emmanuel Macron denounced Maubeuge a "false polemic" and a "bad test". The day before, Benjamin Griveaux launched the demining operation. "No tribute will be paid to Petain on Saturday. It has never been," the government spokesman said. State Secretary Marlene Schiappa said: "Marshal Petain, a traitor in the homeland, has been condemned to national indignation. The President of the Republic will NOT celebrate this," he said, saying that only the five Marshal buried at the Invalidates would receive a tribute .
Returning in October
Foch, Lyautey, Maunoury, Fayolle, and Franchet of Esperey were indeed the only marshals concerned about Saturday's tribute? This is what Defense Minister Florence Parly supported on October 30 at the microphone of Jean-Jacques Bourdin. But a month and a half earlier, the press release of the centenarian launch explained exactly the opposite. Released on September 18, he mentioned homage to "eight marshals" – including Petain – and even announced he would be "in the presence of the President of the Republic" Emmanuel Macron.
So there was a change that took place in October. During the informative presentation of the "homelessness" to the press, Oct. 18, it is stated that Elysee wants a November 11 "without too military expression". It's not about "celebrating the victory of 1918," it says, which provokes a first controversy. In addition, the new press kit no longer commemorates the marshals, with the participation of Emmanuel Macron.
In fact, such a tribute placed the presidency in a double impasse. First of all, it is impossible to honor the Great War marches without implicitly including Marshal Petain. Secondly, this contradicts the current historiography of the Great War, which puts an end to Hairy's heroism against the disputable strategic options of his leaders.
The ceremony is ultimately limited to its strict military dimension. It is moved on Saturday, November 10, and the president is no longer present. He will be represented by his staff chief, Admiral Bernard Rogel. The tribe is no longer reserved for marshals, but for all the rulers of the great war, "from the corporal to the general," there is a staff hammer. A way to avoid overlapping the reflector on the figure of Verdun's winner.
Guided by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, François Lecointre, the ceremony will be more sober: taking weapons with review troops in a courtyard of Hotel Invalides, speaking to General Lecointre, the shielded warehouse of five marshals buried on the ground. It will end with a ringtone to the dead and a minute of silence.
Thus, the thorny question of "Petain's tribute" was buried … Until the confusion reappeared on Wednesday of the voice of Emmanuel Macron, who defended a "tribute to the marshals" and pointed out that Petain was, "during the First World War , and a great soldier. " Instructed by the opposition and the international press, the controversy denotes the cycle of commemorations and risks that transform this purpose of "memorial roaming" into a true path of the cross for the head of state.
»See also: – Petain:" We must admit the truths of history, but remain in our duty of memory "
Petain's Young People: "We Need to Recognize the Truths of History, But Stay In Our Memory Debt" – Watch Figaro Live