Levity among the ruins

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 3 Permalink 1

Armistice Day

Armistice derives from the Latin for arma (arms or weapons) and -stitium (a suffix denoting cessation or stoppage). It means quite literally a stopping of weapons, a ceasefire.

But in French l’Armistice, the armistice, sounds just like a made-up word, Larmastice. That latter would mean, following the same logic from the Latin, a cessation of tears, as tears translate as larmes in French (<Latin lacrima).

Larmistice would translate, if it existed as a word, as an end to tears, an end to sorrow.

What N. said

After the laying of the wreath this morning in the village:

Go on in to the reception without me. I will skip it, because I must drive now to the commemoration in Bessières, as well. My grandfather’s name is on the Monument aux Morts there, and we go every year also to their memorial.

Oh, that’s a pity. We will miss you, but enjoy the day. And our condolences on the loss of your grandfather.


Our sympathies to your family. It must have been hard to lose him that way.

Oh no! There’s a story there. It didn’t occur to me that you would not know it. Everyone here knows it… His name is on the Monument aux Morts in Bessières, and he was presumed lost when it was put there.
But he returned! A full year after the war, after the monument was already constructed, he made his way home, to everyone’s enormous surprise. He lived to be 76!
So it’s a very happy moment for us to see his name there each year. We go to remember that he was not lost.

L’Armistice and Larmistice never more closely related, and proving once again that there’s never a dull moment in village life. We can’t wait to hear the rest of that story.

IMG_6806 (Small)