The Memorial and the ceremonials associated with it testified to France’s unbroken will to fight, highlighting above all the contributions of the nation’s armed forces to the struggle. In doing so, it scanted the role played by the Resistance in the hexagon and its most dynamic element, the Communist Party. But the monument was also a paean to the empire and all that France’s imperial armies had done to liberate the metropole and this at the very moment de Gaulle was negotiating the independence of France’s African colonies. And not least of all, it was a monument full of religious, i.e. Christian allusions. In all these respects, it reflected de Gaulle’s own vision of France’s place in the world, a vision that was not just patriotic and anti-communist but also martial, imperial, and Catholic.
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