Homage to Victims of September 11
By Catya Martin
Paul Girod, a senator from the French town of l'Aisne and president
of the France-United States group, led a joint delegation of French
and United States senators during New York's second anniversary
homage to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. They also
deposited a sheaf filled with their memories at the provisional
memorial located in Battery Park.
In addition to Girod, the group
consisted of Jean-Paul Leonce, central representative of the Calvados,
Lucien Lanier, senator
of the Valley-of-Marne and secretary of the group, André Rouvière,
socialist senator of Gard and Danielle Bidard-Reydet, Communist
senator of Seine-Saint-Denis and also a secretary of the Group.
long planned visit had already been deferred for various reasons.
but it was quite natural that the date of September 11 was favored
by all for a visit. The delegation has consequently otherwise been
made up of two senators, in particular those who represent the
areas with the most significant American military cemeteries, l’Aisne
The day of September 11 was full: a visit to the
French mission at the United Nations, which included meetings with
of various missions and to the French Institute, the Alliance Française
under its director David Black.
A lunch took place with the consulate
where, with the invitation of the French Consulate's consul general
several representatives of the French community could speak freely
with the French members of Parliament. Guy Wildenstein and Jean
Lachaud, delegated to the Higher Council of the French of l’étranger,
Richard Ortoli, president of the Committee of French Associations,
Arnaud Thieffry, president of the local section of the Union of
the French of l’Étranger (UFE) were in attendance,
Patrick Croze, president of the local section of the Association
Démocratique of the French with l’Étranger
(ADFE) and Bruno Dellinger, director of Quint Amasis, were gathered
at the same table. Mr. Dellinger is also the author of a work entitled
World Trade Center, 47th Floor. Duqué also used this occasion
to pay homage to the memory of the six French citizens who died
in the attacks. He spoke of Danielle Délie, Michel Colbert,
Jerome Lohez, Eric Ropiteau and Thierry Saada.
In his speech, the
consul general announced the satisfaction he felt in being able
to accommodate a French parliamentary delegation
that had come to memorialize the 9/11 attacks on New York City.
Senator Girod also noted that the goal of this visit was also to
explain to the French living in America that everyone back in France
understands that they have lived through these events and that
that experience is important.
The senators also made a point of
emphasizing with French expatriates that France supported them
in a difficult international context.
For Paul Girod "it is necessary to advance and stop referring
to our earlier divergences," he said, noting that the United
States was France’s "ally and not enemy.”
States includes more than 100 members and a delegation led by
Girord had already visited California and Washington state
in September 2002. At the time of their last visit, they had
worked to encourage a French presence in the United States.
are currently 78 groups with the Senate from 184 countries. These
groups constitute a fundamental element in the relations
which France hopes to maintain with the international community.
They have a significant role to play, especially with regards
to parliamentary diplomacy.
Not only do the missions that they
carry out make it possible to better understand he countries
visited, but their visits
France with the opportunity to emphasize its economic, commercial
and cultural performances.
These groups also work to establish
projects of decentralized co-operation and to facilitate relations
senators and French
living outside of France.
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Translated from French by Charlotte