From the desk of the Consul General - Summer 2017 [fr]
Dear French and American friends,
Now that July is here and summer vacation approaches, I would like to take a moment to discuss various topics from these last few weeks.
First, I would like to thank all of our volunteers who helped us with our voting polls in the Southeast U.S.: Atlanta, Nashville, Greenville and Raleigh. This democratic gathering allowed us to come together during the election process to express the voices of French citizens abroad. Though we regret that this year saw low participation – 14%, the same as 2013 – everyone’s efforts made this essential process possible for French citizens abroad. Ambassador Gérard Araud and the entire team from the Consulate General are very grateful.
Memories from World War II accentuated the month of June: the anniversary of the D-Day landing on the beaches of Normandy, the call of June 18th… we are extremely honored to have, from Mississippi to the Carolinas, numerous examples of this kind of American engagement on French soil. In Alabama, the Consulate celebrated the 200th anniversary of the state’s ratification through a conference that was dedicated to two centuries of relations with France. A common heritage, history, architecture deeply intertwined in territory: the anniversary of Alabamian engagement in the First World War hasn’t been forgotten, thanks to the presence of the World War One Centennial Commissioner, Monique Seefried. We will have the chance to return to Alabama in the month of August.
In France, the Paris Air Show welcomed numerous official representatives from our region, notably from the Carolinas, Mississippi and Alabama. Our country, along with European partners, is spearheading the aeronautical and aerospace initiative, with the Paris Air Show steadily drawing a large amount of visitors each year. Toulousains from Airbus, whether they are in Atlanta/Georgia Tech or in Mobile, Alabama know this well. We, along with the Franco-American Chamber of Commerce of the district join them in their journey. French President Macron himself was able to learn about the responsibilities involved in French start-up “Donecle” that came to Atlanta last fall. Donecle made the trip within the framework of a start-up exchange between Atlanta and Toulouse, facilitated through an annual event by France Atlanta.
I would also like to salute the Atlanta chapter of the French Heritage Society, led by Suzy Wasserman, for its tireless work in favor of French-American relations. Thanks to the devotion of its members, this association makes an inestimable contribution to the preservation of our heritage, as we have been able to appreciate in a new light through the visit of François Decoster, Vice President of the Upper Regions of France and mayor of Saint-Omer.
Hats off to the representatives of Morehouse College who will be in Paris at the end of June after their victory at the Lafayette Debates, which was organized by our embassy in Washington and by George Washington University. Congratulations to Jonathan Carlisle and Keith Matier, and their coach, Ken Newby, for their brilliant presentations on the theme of diversity and of social cohesion in the democracies of today.
Have a great vacation and see you soon,
Louis de Corail
Consul General of France