EVERYTHING FOR AND BY THE PEOPLE
« For the Honour of France, for the sacred interests of Humanity »
(Napoleon the Great, 17th of Ventôse Year VIII – Saturday 8th of March 1800)
On the 12th of August, 1857, by Imperial Decree, His Imperial Majesty, NAPOLEON III, By the Grace of God and the National Will, Emperor of the French, created the Medal of Saint Helena in honour of the veterans of 1792 – 1815.
Faithful to the wishes that his uncle, NAPOLEON THE GREAT, had expressed in his Will, III, 2°, the emperor thus paid hommage to the sacrifices, wounds, courage and devotion of the officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers, « who have fought from 1792 to 1815 for the glory and independence of the nation ».
On the 16th of August 1855, the Moniteur Universel, predecessor of today’s Journal Officiel, had published, on the occasion of the National Festival of Saint Napoleon’s Day :
« National feast-day of St Napoleon »
« The Emperor, in his care for all that concerns the interests of the Army, has wished to improve the situation of the widows and orphans of those who die in combat, and, according to His Majesty’s orders, the Council of State is presented with a motion whose purpose is to double the sum of the pension paid annually to widows and orphans of servicemen of all ranks killed facing the enemy or who succumb due to war.
This motion will be taken to the Corps législatif [the lower house of Parliament] in its very next session, and the minister of War is authorised forthwith to provisionally raise these pensions with the funds at his disposal and which are drawn from national subscriptions. »
Faithful, as we too are, to the Napoleonic Ideas, we pay hommage, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Medal of Saint Helena, to all the civil and military personnel of our armies and law enforcement, who fight against terrorism and protect the inhabitants of our respective countries. Faithful too, to our commitments, we pursue « our struggle for the Cornflower of France, and other institutions, associations and services which take aid and assistance to our war veterans, war widows, wards of the nation (orphans), victims of war and of terrorism, families of military personnel, rescuers or police officers severely wounded or killed in the course of their duty ».
On this 15th of August, anniversary of the birth of NAPOLEON THE GREAT, day of celebration and doing good, we invite you to join with us in our fight for démocracy, justice, progress, and reconciliation. On every continent, our fight, for the honour of the country, and the sacred interests of humanity, continues, and we are proud to be able to say, to the spirit of our Emperor, as Napoleon III writes, in the conclusion to his book, Des Idées Napoléoniennes (On the Napoleonic Ideas) :
« THE FREE PEOPLES LABOUR EVERYWHERE
TO DO ONCE MORE YOUR WORK ! »
2° I bequeath my private domain, half to the officers and soldiers who remain of the French Army, who have fought from 1792 to 1815 for the glory and independence of the nation; the repartition shall be done according to the prorota of the salary of active service; half to the towns and countryside of Alsace, Lorraine, Franche-Comté, Bourgogne, Île-de-France, Champagne, Forez, and Dauphiné, which may have suffered from one or the other invasion. There shall be deducted from this sum, one million for the town of Brienne, and one million for that of Méry.
I name counts Montholon, Bertrand and Marchand my testimentary executors.
This present Will, entirely written by my own hand, is signed and sealed with my armorials.