As a French woman, I take seriously the celebration of veterans from any wars. A fair assumption would be to think that most French families had casualties during WWI and WWII. Mine did to a certain degree, my grandfather Lucien fought in WWI and was at Verdun for most of it. He was gazed, came back but not the same man, “la grande guerre” as we call it here, seemed to last and stretched forever. Lucien was a character, pretty hard, silent and not showing so many emotions. He didn’t talk too much of the wars, the one he fought and the one he lived.
Francois, my other grandfather was not a soldier in WWII, he was a partisan, a “resistant”, a rebel. He didn’t die during the war but a year or so after returning concentration camp where he was sent after being caught. I never knew him but admire him without limits.
In every village, engraved are names after names, soldiers fallen in combat, too young to die, honorable men.
In some places in Normandy and Brittany, I have seen plaques to remember the American, Canadian, British soldiers fallen. There is no doubt in my mind that they were real heroes, simple men with extraordinary circumstances became superheroes.