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World March Blog
9 November 2009

Paris was a Party

Paris has been a party from beginning to end.  The welcome couldn’t have been better.  The local organisers received us warmly, just like everyone else has done.  After being accommodated like royalty in one of their houses, they let us sleep until well into the morning, for the first time in a long while.  The evening tour in an open-top double-decker bus through the centre was tremendous; we were greeted from the pavements, some buses honked their horns, hands were waving from windows, a group of children followed us on roller-skates, people on their balconies were sending kisses and making victory signs.  All of this enveloped by a halo of music at full blast, ducking from time to time to avoid the branches of trees and with the wind blowing our hair all over the place.  Even the weather, initially overcast, let the sun come out.

It was fantastic to see the cafes full of people watching us go by.  I emotionally remembered the Spanish anarchists who, on Dronne’s orders, the aristocrat who fought for freedom, were the first to enter with the French 9th Armoured Company in Paris in 1944, so many black and white photos in which the same monuments and the same cafes appeared, immortalised by war reporters when I was barely one year old; their banners, the pride written all over their faces, their strong arms holding on high the flags for which so much blood had been spilt, just like we were now doing with ours, with the festive and bloodless chant of “to the Bastille!”  It was a new way to enter Paris, trying once more to rescue her from war, from the atrocious bloodshed, the tearing apart of families, like mine, the uprooting, the profound pain that wars have sewn and are still sewing from generation to generation.

Firemen greeted us, ambulance drivers, the police… Maybe they too have heard from their parents, their grandparents, of the legendary column made up almost completely of Spanish Republicans who brought them the good news of liberation.  Maybe some, like me, remember those old black and white images of brave and jubilant men who brought back hope to a people humiliated by Nazi occupation.  Again I told myself, like every other day, that I am no one, that I have no power, but neither did they, and just by their presence they lifted the hearts of the entire people, giving back to them the faith in the future and a better world after so much horror.

Hopefully our own multicolour bus has, with its music and songs, sewn this same faith, this same hope in a definitively peaceful world.

8 comments to Paris was a Party

  • gwen

    Merci Liliana pour ton témoignage de ton passage à Paris

  • Petra Frost

    Grazie Liliana! Ho visto anche le foto, posso immaginarmi l’emozione che avete vissuto. Tanti saluti a voi, e a questa bellissima città!:-)

  • Françoise LOUBET

    merci Liliana, je suis très touchée par ton témoignage sur le passage dans Paris! On voit bien sur les photos la joie que tout le monde ressentait, d’ailleurs Isabelle Bourgeois a bien raison de parler de Marche de la Joie dans sa dernière vidéo !! Je suis ravie si vous avez pu vous reposer un peu et bonne route pour la suite !

  • esther

    precioso el testimonio Liliana, no vi las fotos, pero las describistes tan bien, que me senti estar alli.
    Fuerza Valientes, muchos cariños Esther

  • Juan E.

    Fantástico post!

    Que linda descripción y que ganas da de haber estado ahí con ustedes.

    Gracias por todo

    Un fuerte abrazo

  • Byju Pallikandy

    Liliana, Expecting Some photos and comments of your India experience.

    • Liliana Piastra

      Dear Byju,
      Don’t worry, I will write of my India experience, but in Spanish or in Italian, my English is not enough to describe all its beauty and the kindness of all of you.
      Thank you for one of the best memories of the trip.
      Liliana

  • JuanV

    Liliana, yo también me he emocionado con tu recuerdo de los libertadores de París.
    Un abrazo
    Juan