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  1. #1
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    Klondyke's Avatar
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    Today @ 07:42 PM

    France mourns Jacques Chirac

    France mourns Jacques Chirac with funeral and ceremonies

    World leaders gather to pay final respects to charismatic and popular former president

    President Emmanuel Macron follows the flag-draped coffin of Jacques Chirac carried by Republican guards during a military ceremony at the Hôtel des Invalides.

    World leaders have gathered in Paris to join mourners in paying their final respects to the former French president Jacques Chirac.

    A series of private and national ceremonies were being held during a national day of mourning for the charismatic and popular former leader.

    After a mass attended by about 200 family and friends at the Hôtel des Invalides, the current president, Emmanuel Macron, led a military tribute. Later on Monday, a funeral will be held at the church of Saint-Sulpice before Chirac is buried with full military honours at the Montparnasse cemetery in the south of the capital.

    Macron entered Les Invalides at 10.45am to review French troops as the Marseillaise was played. To a solemn drumbeat, Chirac’s coffin, draped in a tricolour, was brought into the cour d’honneur and placed on the ground.

    The atmosphere was sombre and silent. Several military veterans present could be seen wiping their eyes as the funeral march was played.

    After a minute’s silence, Macron followed the coffin out of Les Invalides and it was transported to Saint-Sulpice, 2km away.

    Chirac, who was president of France from 1995 to 2007, died on Thursday at the age of 86. His death prompted a flood of tributes to a man whose political career spanned more than four decades and who was seen as one of France’s last great statespeople.

    The former US president Bill Clinton arriving at Saint-Sulpice for the funeral of Jacques Chirac. Photograph: Michel Euler/AP

    The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was among 30 world leaders who flew to Paris to attend the funeral. The Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, and the German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, were also due to attend, as were former leaders who worked with Chirac, including Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European commission, and the former US president Bill Clinton.

    French politicians will turn out en masse, including three former presidents – 93-year-old Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Chirac’s successor, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the former Socialist president François Hollande.

    Before the military ceremony, Chirac’s widow, Bernadette, 86, attended a private mass at the Saint-Louis-des-Invalides cathedral. The couple were married for 63 years and had two daughters, Laurence, who died in 2016, and Claude.

    Chirac will be buried next to his elder daughter, who had anorexia for most of her adult life and died at the age of 58.

    Chirac’s only grandchild, Martin Chirac-Rey, 23, addressed about 200 family and friends after the private service.

    The Elysée Palace had declared a day of national mourning and the tricolour over Les Invalides flew at half-mast, as it did across France. A minute’s silence was observed in public institutions and schools.

    Although Chirac has been accused of achieving little during his 12 years in the Elysée and was later convicted of a “fake jobs” scandal during his time as mayor of Paris between 1977 and 1995, a poll by the Journal du Dimanche newspaper showed the French consider him their best president of the modern era, alongside the country’s postwar leader, Charles de Gaulle.

    His two main achievements were being the first French leader to publicly recognise France’s role in the deportation of Jews during the Nazi occupation of the country during the second world war, and opposing the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

    Chirac was also known for his bonhomie and reputation as a bon vivant, with a gargantuan appetite for traditional food washed down with a few beers.

    The Hôtel des Invalides is, as its name suggests, a former military hospital and retirement home for veterans. It is the site of museums and monuments to France’s military history and contains the tombs of its war heroes, including the former emperor Napoléon Bonaparte.

    Members of the public queued on Sunday to say farewell to Chirac as his coffin lay in state at the Saint-Louis-des-Invalides cathedral. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images
    On Sunday, thousands of French people turned up at Les Invalides, where Chirac’s coffin lay in state, to pay their respects. Many left flowers and apples, his favourite fruit.

    The tributes will continue during the week, when the French team don black armbands for their Rugby World Cup match with the US in the Japanese city of Fukuoka.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Last but who gives a shit.

  3. #3
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Today @ 07:43 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    That would be the bloke whose death was reported four days ago in the RIP thread.

    The forum fuckwit starts another useless thread.

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