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In 1941, Marshal Petain, president of the National Board of the French Legion of Combatants, appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the Forgeot reserve and the former reserve captain, Father Poisson, respectively President and Vice-President of the Union Of the French Legion of Combatants.
On March 30, veterans met in Antananarivo for the election of members of the regional committee. Before the vote, Colonel Forgeot wishes to make clear that he places “this assembly under the sign of the union that is urged on us by Marshal Petain”. And to deliver to the audience one of his last speeches: “I desire the union of all hearts, not exclusive, the grudges are dead with a past past; We must not maintain outdated hatreds, but practice a policy of appeasement. “
Colonel Forgeot reinforces these remarks: “If you sew a comrade whom you would have looked at wrongly some time ago, because his opinions are different from yours, you will treat him today as when he was your niche neighbor in the trenches. He insists that the legion is not the fief of a party, it is open to “all goodwill fighters, firmly determined to remain French”.
Lieutenant-Colonel Forgeot, in his turn, appoints Father Labrousse and Assolant as president and vice-president among the members of the Antananarivo Regional Union of the French Legion of Combatants.
On 6 April at 8:15 am, in the presence of Governor General Yves-Léon Cayla and General Guillemet, there was a seizure of arms by the troops of the garrison in the presence of the Regional Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in Antananarivo. legionnaires. The first emphasizes above all the unfailing attachment to the ideal of the French legion which they display. “In order to consecrate this solemn oath, I place in your hands, with joy and pride, the flag which will henceforth group together under its folds all the legionaries of Madagascar. It symbolizes the ardent desire of the Legion to give all its strength to the work of national renovation undertaken and pursued by its illustrious and revered leader, Marshal Petain, twice the savior of France. “
Governor General Cayla concludes by recalling that the sacred mission of the legionaries is to watch over the destinies of the country and wishing them to remain united around their flag in order and discipline.
In his turn, Colonel Forgeot took the floor to recall the work accomplished by the President of the National Directory of the French Legion. The legionaries, “deeply grateful to the illustrious soldier, are firmly resolved to help him with all their might in the difficult task he has imposed on himself, and give themselves with all their soul to the sacred cause which he defends, Depends on the salvation of France. “
After the flag is displayed, surrounded by its guard of honor, and the legionaries sing “La Marseillaise,” the parade of troops from the garrison and the native guard takes place, followed by scouts from France, Unionist scouts and Of gymnastic societies.
All this happens in front of a very dense crowd which invades the tribunes and their approaches to “communicate in the same patriotic faith with those who are in the honor”. According to a chronicler present at Mahamasina, all of them remember the “beautiful words” spoken to the veterans of the Metropolis by General Laure, secretary of Marshal Petain.
“… Make your will for the moral and social restoration of France and its empire into the blood of your children. Keep them ready to take the tool and the plow when they fall out of your hands exhausted by fatigue or by age. But for you as for the Marechal, this hour of rest has not struck. In the whole country you will remain on the breach to repair its ruins. Legionnaires, conscious of your national strength, use this force in the spirit of discipline and union that the Marshal recommends us, and wherever you appear, the clamor rises: Greetings to the Legion and Long live the France of tomorrow! “