Dijon: Patricia Miralles opened the digital stele to complement the war memorial

“The archaeologists still use very little new technologies to enhance memory,” said the Secretary of State for Veterans Affairs and Memory on Friday, March 3.

Since November 11, 2022, the names of the 3,226 Dijonians who died for France from 1915 to the present day are listed on a digital plaque installed in the alleys of the park, at the level of the Edmond-Michelet roundabout.

Since the Monument of Victory and Remembrance – inaugurated in 1924 by Dijon Mayor Gaston Girard – does not include an engraved list of names, the digital tool makes up for this absence.

Opening with singing in the presence of students

On Friday, March 3, 2023, Witness Patricia Miralles, Secretary of State to the Minister of the Armed Forces in charge of Veterans Affairs and Memory opened the meeting.

Around her, among the many civil and military authorities, were in particular the deputies of the Côte-d’Or Benoît Bordat (FP) and Didier Martin (RE) as well as Emmanuelle Coint (LR), first vice-president of the provincial council of the Côte d’Or, Jean-Philippe Morel (PR), Deputy Mayor of Dijon in charge of Veterans, Duty of Remembrance, Civic Engagement and National Defense, Franck Robin, Prefect of Côte d’Or, Pierre N. Gahanna, Dean of the Dijon Academy, and Lieutenant-Colonel Étienne Royal, Deputy Military Delegate for Departments.

The ceremony was also attended by third year students from Saint-Michel College, final year students from Les Arcades secondary school and elected officials of the Children’s Municipal Council of Dijon.

Authorities unveiled the witness with the voice of “France” and the voice of Candice Parisi, a singer within the Paris fire brigade, after she was chosen in 2022 to close the July 14th festivities. on the Champs-Elysées (Find the video).

All generations of fire are concerned

The Digital Witness project was initiated by the Confederation of Cote d’Or Veterans (UDAC), led by Benoît Bourdat when he was deputy mayor of Dijon and then moved by Jean-Philippe Morel when he succeeded the one elected in 2022 as deputy for the second Cote d’Or constituency.

The Digital Development and Digital Heritage Services of the City of Dijon as well as the Municipal Archives have combined their skills with those of the company Aji Digital, located in Quetigny, to develop the content of the stele.

All generations of fire are concerned. The list lists the names of the men and women—born in Dijon or for whom Dijon was their last known abode—who died for France in World War I, World War II, the Indochina War, the Algerian War, and foreign operations.

“The platform aims to enrich it,” said Stefan Falcauda, ​​president of Aji Digital, referring to visual or editorial content that can be added later.

The digital station is operational at all times. Conflict access is possible and the search engine allows finding a specific individual. The interactive map identifies all the places of memory in Dijon associated with each conflict, from the memorial plaque to the memorial.

The device is connected to an urban lighting power supply and runs on lead gel batteries that are recharged during the night. The site is in a public space, and is subject to “secret” surveillance, according to Jean-Philippe Morel.

“Pass the long list to our heroes”

“Today we complete our anonymous monument. (…) The duty of memory honors our nation and allows everyone to come together, beyond differences,” said Jean-Philippe Morel, the first to speak during the official speeches.

“We, children of the 20th century are still alive, representing the third generation of fire, we wanted to pass on to the young Dijonnais of the 21st century, with modern means of communication (…) the long list of our heroes,” noted Jean Lecrini, Secretary General of UDAC.

Adapting tools to enrich our national narrative

Patricia Miralles responded: “This stele is completely in keeping with our nation’s memory work, in my commitment to serving the fighting world and in the transmission of memory.”

“The antiquities (…) still use very little new technology to enhance memory. However, it is our responsibility that the tools needed to enrich our national narrative adapt to our new way of life and the new uses that digital technology has generated.”

The foreign minister in charge of veterans affairs and memory noted that “the fighting world continues to defend France’s security through foreign operations, from Lebanon to the coast, from Yugoslavia to Afghanistan, today in Romania.”

“At a time when war reappears on our continent, when the Ukrainian people give us an example of courage and commitment, this challenge of transmission is more than decisive if we want citizens committed to serving the nation. And ready to defend its values. Preventing our children from deconstructing statues, we must continue to be memory smugglers,” she said.

The ceremony ended with the laying of wreaths at the foot of the war memorial.

“The duty of memory transcends a generation”

“It’s amazing,” commented Patricia Miralles as she figured out how to operate the digital obelisk, “It’s so fun and simple.” “It allows young people, who don’t necessarily go to the museum, to be able to learn about the memory of history through this memorial, and then maybe they can go to the museum afterwards, it allows them to put down roots.”

I analyzed “the duty of memory almost skips a generation.” “The grandparents talk to their grandchildren, they talk more to their children. There is a memory lane from that third generation of fire to this young man. It’s important because they still have that living memory, the interpretations when they tell the story. That’s how we’ll be able to root for our youth.”

“My duty is to work on memory with young people, from an early age. (…) Today, more than ever, instead of canceling the days of celebration as required, let us learn to celebrate differently,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“Our young people are beautiful. You have to trust them. (…) This war in Ukraine challenges them and questions them. They have pictures of today, (…) These are current realities, and this is not what we know. (…) More than ever, They want to understand things and it’s as if we’re going to seek the moral powers of our country,” she asserted.

He asked that a street in Dijon bear the name of “hero of the Algerian war”.

Speaking indirectly to the Mayor of Dijon, Jean Lucrini asked that the street be named after Quartermaster Bruno Cortel, who had been recalled from the unit during the Algerian War, who died at the age of 24 and who was posthumously awarded the Cross of Military Valor. palms

“It would be fair if at least one street in our provincial capital bears the name of the hero of this struggle, while the heroes of other wars, moreover, have named after their own many arteries of our city,” insisted the General Secretary of UDAC.

The Secretary of State then continued her trip to Dijon with the decoration of the National Order of Merit of the province and then an exchange with students from Charles de Gaulle High School who worked to commemorate the Jews of Dijon who were deported during the Second World War. .

Jean-Christophe Tardefon

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