Gallic Fever

Toujours francofolle !

After a hideous coup : mourning the Charlie Hebdo victims

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Ten journalists and cartoonists of the French satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, and three police officers, all died violent deaths on 7 January 2015. Some of the journos’ photos are here, in Le Point.  In this post, GallicFever offers some French and American tributes to the victims.

Drawing by Kanako, courtesy of MyLIttleParis

Drawing by Kanako, courtesy of MyLIttleParis

Descending on the Charlie Hebdo offices, a pair of religious radical terrorist gunmen murdered two policemen in and near the scene, and massacred veteran staffers assembled for their Wednesday morning editorial meeting. A hideous coup.

As “E.W. Count,” I was a longtime nonfiction and fiction writer about the New York Police Department and I remain an honorary member of the French-American police friendship association, 911/17. As they say in France these days, je suis Charlie, and, je suis flic. I identify with and deeply mourn the journalists and policemen who perished in the horror maelstrom at Charlie Hebdo.

Martin, a Princeton University French teacher honored murdered French police

1/10/15, in NYC solidarity, Martine, a Princeton University French teacher, honored French police

The officers assassinated inside the Charlie Hebdo office and on the street outside, are respectively, Franck Brinsolaro, and Ahmed Merabet. Montrouge officer Clarissa Jean- Philippe was gunned down, point blank, by a third terrorist whose murder spree later claimed the lives of four Jewish men doing pre-sabbath errands on Friday afternoon in a Vincennes kosher grocery. I mourn my fallen fellow Jews, Yohan Cohen, Yohav Hattab, Philippe Braham and François-Michel Saada. As they also say in France lately, je suis juif.

Tuesday, 13 January, saw the Jewish victims buried in Israel; François Hollande honored the three police officers (NY Times video link) in the Paris courtyard of the police prefecture. According to Le Parisien, President Hollande said, “[the unity] we have shown . . . [is] our most sturdy weapon . . . .The French people has rendered to the police . . . the most beautiful homage possible.”

Parisians honor murdered police

Parisians remember their three police officers, assassinated by three terrorists, January 2015

As successive shocks emanated from Paris, I was comforted by a statement of solidarity and condolences offered by the International Association of Chiefs of Police President, Richard Beary. “I am horrified,” Mr. Beary wrote, “and deeply troubled by the tragic events that have taken place in Paris. . . . [We] mourn the lives of those who have perished and applaud the bravery and dedication of the law enforcement officers who gave their lives in an effort to protect the innocent victims of this horrific attack.

911/17 Patch

Patch worn by members of 911/17 French-American police friendship association

“As the French National Police and other agencies in France continue their efforts to apprehend those responsible for this attack, I want them to know that they have the support of the global policing community. . . .

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and colleagues whose lives have been devastated by this tragic and senseless crime.”

Indeed, it remains no easy feat to think about anything else. Bon courage to all my French friends and colleagues.

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6 thoughts on “After a hideous coup : mourning the Charlie Hebdo victims

  1. Thanks, voisine! I still can’t believe what actually happened today in my dear city… I’m just back from the Republique gathering, it was heart rending and at the same time good to be together against this infamy. Charlie Hebdo and all of us are mourning courageous journalists and cartoonists. Some of them (Cabu, Wolinski, Honoré) were part of my life, I grew up with their insolent drawings. But the terrorists missed their target: Charlie will live! Lots of love from Paris

    • Bonjour, neighbor Thibault. Thanks for your report about the demonstration. In New York, “Je suis Charlie.” I’m Charlie. Last night, Le Monde NY correspondent Stéphane Lauer spoke movingly at the Lycée Francais after a showing of a documentary about his paper. He faced an audience that debated – as we have debated Seth Rogen’s film, The Inteview – whether humor can go too far. If we observe limits of propriety, will we be safe(r)? I’ll post more about Stéphane Lauer’s answer, his work and the excellent documentary, Inside the News (Les Gens du Monde). Be safe, neighbor!

  2. The ‘cartoon’ moved me close to tears.

    • I love the drawing and was touched when MyLittleParis allowed me to post it here. Their newsletter is charming, creative and – even though promotional – a great way to keep reading up on Paris, in French. Subscribe, I say!

  3. Dear Ellen.
    I am so sorry for the late to send to you an answer, but i really like to tell you, on behalf all members of the French Police Association and all French PO, thank you for your support.
    Thank you american people for your support.
    We are friends and always UNITED.
    Always in our hearts.

    Take care be safe.
    Laurent JUSTE, Président of the French Police Association 911-17.

    • Must be a difficult time for you, Laurent. Glad to have some news!
      To see more photos of NYC solidarity, click on C’est la vie NYC/Paris…
      The guys in the biggest photo wrote “Je suis Clarissa” and “Je suis Ahmed” on their signs.
      Be safe, see you!

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