Teaching about and commemorating French overseas operations

Teaching about and commemorating French overseas operations

Salon européen de l'éducation, 2013

A subject of history, overseas operations are - like the remembrance of earlier conflicts such as the two world wars - becoming an increasingly important part of passing on the memory of those who took part in them, particularly to the young. A living memorial, the servicemen and women deployed on overseas operations embody and impart to young people the values that drive them. Another important aspect is defence education, which French youngsters receive at collège, lycée or, later on, at university. A final aspect is remembrance rituals and practices, as part of national commemorative and remembrance days in honour of those killed in overseas operations, which offer an opportunity to raise public awareness about the spirit of sacrifice of our servicemen and women. The memory of those deployed on overseas operations is a memory still under construction, which the French Ministry of the Armed Forces is anxious to honour and value in the present. Overseas operations then become a history to be taught, memories to impart.