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France Honors Carrier Pigeons

At the entrance to the Lille Zoo in Lille, France is a statue that honors the thousands of Allied birds that served and died for France during WW I.  This monument stands almost 20 feet tall.  On this monument, you see peace, represented by a woman who liberates a swarm of pigeons. Below her is a shield that crushes a snake, symbolizing the enemy. The bas-relief depicts soldiers from the front line, using the pigeons as messengers.

The monument was erected by the Federation Nationale des Societes Colombophiles in 1936. It pays homage to the 20,000 pigeons that once served and died in WW I. It also commemorates those who made use of these pigeons and once uncovered died at the hands of enemy forces. There were forces on both sides during the war who tried to control these messengers. In territories occupied by Germany, civilians were ordered to shoot pigeons.

Valiant was the name of one of the most famous French carrier pigeons. This bird was a true hero. At one time he got badly injured and gassed but none the less he managed to deliver a message to the French troop at the Battle of Verdun. In the Nord department of France professionals and amateurs still, train carrier pigeons.

  • Question of

    Isn’t it wonderful that they honor carrier pigeons?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Have you ever seen a carrier pigeon?

    • Yes
    • No

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