This is the Tombe du soldat inconnu (Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, pronounced /tõb dy solda ɛ̃kɔny/) beneath the Arc de Triomphe. It is a monument to all the soldiers slaughtered in various wars, particularly World War I, for anyone who is counting. The identity of the actual soldier entombed here is not known; even if it were, I doubt that the fancy tomb would be much consolation to the family that never saw him again, the wife or girlfriend he left behind and alone, or the children he never had. But it’s a very pretty tomb, with all that smooth, cold granite and brass, isn’t it?
Anyway, the tomb is often covered by flowers donated by organizations of veterans and the like. Despite all the flowers, the soldier is still dead, and still unknown. I always end up shaking my head when I see things like this. A flame of remembrance burns over the tomb, too.
Click directly on the photo to see a smaller version (half this size). Photographed on May 26, 2001.
Last modified on Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 4:29:18 UTC