From the desk of the Consul General - July 2017 [fr]
Dear French and American friends,
Now that the French presidential election is over, it is time to talk about our Parliamentary elections which will take place Saturday, June 3 and Saturday, June 17 in the same polling stations as for the presidential election. As always, two words for our French compatriots: Go vote!
This past month, I had the honor to present the Legion of Honor to an Atlanta veteran, James W. Toth. It was a very emotional moment: 97 years-old (!), an intact memory and a modesty that you can only find in people who fought with courage and no ulterior motive for our common values in a foreign country. We, the French, must not forget what we owe to these young Americans of the 1940s, who still stand up straight – like James W. Toth during this ceremony! – and tell you how much of an honor it is to receive this award. Actually, this is an honor and a lesson for us. I want also to thank the Woodward Academy for hosting the ceremony.
Even further in time and space, we evoked the memory of WWI in Mobile, Alabama. During the Armed Forces Day Ceremony, Mobile representatives and the Blue Star Salute Foundation honored France. In addition to our colors and national anthem, France was also represented by the Honorary Consul of France to Mobile Maxanna Nichols-Lefebvre who spoke of the close ties between France and the American army, which entered the war on April 6, 1917. The presence of the “Alabamians” in France within the 167th of the famous “Rainbow Division” has been perfectly described by Nimrod Frazer and it will remain as an indissoluble bond between our territories. I want to thank you all and in particular our friend and compatriot Monique SEEFRIED, Commissioner of the WWI Centennial Commission, for taking part in this ceremony. 100 years, but also 200 years as Alabama celebrates its bicentennial this year: the relations between France and Alabama are old and deep.
Finally, just few words to underline how much Europe, our European Union, is present here in the U.S. Southeast. I had the pleasure, with my German and Irish colleagues, to visit several companies that proudly wear our colors here in the U.S. - BMW, Michelin, Mergon. We celebrated together and beyond our differences our shared history, in particular during a meeting organized by the European American Chamber of Commerce – Carolinas, in presence of our friends of the French American Chamber of Commerce – Carolinas and the Honorary Consul of France to Charlotte Laura Meyer Wellman. Germans, French, Belgians, Irish, Greeks and British (for some time yet…), we work here together, with our consular teams, for the common good of our continent.
See you soon,
Louis de Corail
Consul General of France