On the day following the funeral of General Charles de Gaulle his grave has already become a place of homage for heads of state, war time colleagues and the ordinary people of France.
On the day following the funeral of General Charles de Gaulle his grave has already become a place of homage for heads of state, war time colleagues and the ordinary people of France. Today (Friday) his grave was visited by the leaders of fourteen African States, the Shah of Iran, and high ranking military personnel.
An early visitor to the grave was Marshal Tchuikov, the hero of Stalingrad. He was greeted de Gaulle's son, Phillipe and laid a wreath upon the new grave. The marshal said he represented the president of the Soviet Union in honouring a great patriot of France.
Another visitor to the tiny churchyard at Colombey-les-duex Eglises was the Shah of Iran. General de Gaulle had asked that this funeral be a ceremony without the pomp of a state occasion. The foreign dignitaries, observing his wishes, visited the grave after the funeral.
The former French possessions of Africa were also represented, and in all fourteen African heads of state paid their respects, including President Senghor of Senegal and President Tsiranana of Madagascar.
De Gaulle's grave, situated beside that of his daughter Anne, is now likely to become a shrine for his compatriots and for those foreign dignitaries who counted him as more than a political acquaintance.