We here in America know about our Special Forces and the brave men and women of our military, but we know little about the French military, past and present. One of the most interesting parts of French history is the French Foreign Legion. (Click on high-lighted words to play video. Enlarge picture for best viewing.) This video about its history is lengthy, but worth watching. One will be impressed with their training and skill as well as their long tradition.
The modern-day French Foreign Legion has about 7,700 active duty legionnaires. In the past, volunteers joined to start a new life, leaving old ways behind, coming from 136 different countries around the world. Today, there are strict regulations for becoming part of the Foreign Legion. Each member follows a seven point code of honor.
1: Legionnaire, you are a volunteer, serving France with honor and fidelity.
2: Each Legionnaire is your brother in arms whatever his nationality, his race or his religion might be. You show to him the same close solidarity that links the members the same family.
3: You respect your traditions and your superiors. Discipline and friendship are your strengths. Courage and honesty are your virtues.
4: You are proud of being a Legionnaire. You are always well-mannered and smart. Your behavior is of the best. You are always modest and your quarters are always clean and tidy.
5: You are an elite soldier who is rigorous with himself. You consider your weapon as your most precious possession. You constantly maintain your physical fitness.
6: Your mission is sacred. It is carried out until the end, in respect of the law, the customs of war International Conventions, if needs be, at the risk of your own life.
7: In combat you act without passion or hatred. You respect vanquished enemies. You never surrender your dead, your wounded, or your weapons.
The French military will meet the challenge of the new enemies of the world just as it has in the past. The Spirit of the French people also lives on…strong and resolute.
Singing of liberty and life is Mireille Mathieu’s in her legendary performance of La Marseillaise with the Eiffel Tower in the background. (Mireille was born in 1946 in Avignon, France. She has recorded over 1200 songs in eleven languages, with 122 million albums sold. She speaks of her love of God and her country. The French spirit lives on.