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PARIS 8th district


The Flame under the Arc de Triomphe

La flamme de la nation


On January 28, 1921, the coffin of the unknown soldier carried by eight non-commissioned officers decorated with the military medal was placed in his final tomb. The “sacred slab is sealed” on the unknown. Silence invades the deserted place ... The tomb is forgotten. The inscription is almost illegible. During two years. Until journalist Gabriel Boissy finds the solution. He writes: “I would like a living flame to burn on this tomb, a fire which is the palpitation, the presence of his soul, which burns like a perpetual memory of each of us, of the whole country. »On November 11, 1923, André Maginot lights the Sacred Flame. The association "La Flamme sous l'Arc de Triomphe" was declared on October 16, 1930. The members are as anonymous as they are always volunteers.


For almost 90 years the flame of remembrance has burned under the Arc de Triomphe paying homage, on the tomb of the unknown soldier, to all those who fell so that France could live. Every night, even during the dark hours of the Occupation, the flame was rekindled. It is the only place of remembrance in France where the news is daily and where all French people gather. It is really the Flame of the Nation, not only anchored in memory but also in the future, because the ceremony of remembrance but also a meeting point, the heart of the country which beats forever. Supported and vivified by more than 500 associations, the Flame burns eternally. Sublimated within the framework of one of the most famous monuments in the world, the rite evolves according to the guests: it is a global meeting. Living.

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