Je Suis Charlie. Vive La France!

Pour mes chers amis en France

Je suis un Américain et aussi un francophile. Le français était la première langue étrangère que j’ai appris.  Je n’ai pas parlé ou écrit en français dans un temps très long et pour ça je m’excuse si mon français est difficile à comprendre.

J’aime la France et les citoyens de France. Mes plus sincères condoléances pour cette horrible tragédie. J’embarrassé mon Gouvernement n’a pas envoyé quelqu’un pour l’ mars.

Le peuple de France sont résiliants. Nous ne devons jamais permettre terroriste oublier notre force. Ils ne seront jamais taire la liberté. Ils ne seront jamais nous faire peur.

Les terroristes sont des lâches. Ils ne peuvent pas effrayer la nation française. D’un américain, demeurez forts et restez fiers, et surtout rester français.

C’est un moment très triste. La France et les familles des victimes vont survivre. Charlie n’est pas mort en vain. Vous ne serez pas réduit au silence. Vous vous lèverez de cette tragédie avec une détermination plus forte pour protéger la liberté d’expression.

Nous sommes tous Charlie. Je Suis Charlie. Vive la France!

liberté, égalité,  fraternité’

 

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I am a huge and unapologetic francophile and have been as long as I can remember. French was the first foreign language I mastered. I started taking French in the eighth grade and was taught by a Cuban exile who had learned French from a French prisoner in Castro’s jails. Here’s to you Dr. De Rojas.

France is a proud country and rightly so. They have accomplished so much throughout history in so many areas. In cuisine, music, art, literature, science, mathematics, and so many other areas they have few rivals that can claim to have advanced or influenced  civilization to the degree that the country of France has accomplished and continues to do so.

I studied French for several more years in high school and in college. I became fluent, but after many years with no one to speak French with I am now rusty. I can still read and understand French very well, but I often will hesitate with choosing the correct word and also have Japanese, Spanish, and Italian words fighting for attention and floating around my head. Perhaps it is time to visit my adopted country again in the near future.

When I was around 16 we hosted  a French student from Måcon, France which was our sister city. Around a year later I was fortunate to be able to visit jean-Michel at his wonderful home there for close to three weeks. They were the most loving and hospitable family you could ever hope to meet and treated me like their own son. I still miss the food which was simply out of this world. Sorry Italy, Japan, Spain, and all the other countries in the world, French food is still unquestionably the best in the world. That trip left an indelible memory with me that I will always cherish as among the happiest times of my life.

That began a lifelong love affair with France and her remarkable people that I still have to this day. I was fortunate to travel to France several more times as well over the years and always had an amazing time and was treated with more kindness than nearly any other of the 80+ countries I have visited. I was also shocked to hear stories about the French being snobs, rude, or arrogant. I think those stories were made up by people that had never even met a French person in their life. They are a proud but friendly people as long as you treat them with respect as is the case in all countries. The whole freedom fries episode was an embarrassment to how insular and out of touch many Americans are with other parts of the world.

The recent tragedy in France really hit me hard. I was deeply saddened and horrified by this tragedy. It brought back the same feelings I had on 9/11/2001. To the people of France,  I offer all my support and condolences. I also know that the French are a resilient people and you will get through this. I wish I could be at the Place de la Republique and give you all a hug but I can’t so I simply say from the bottom of this American’s heart Je suis Charlie.

 

 

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