Terrorist attack in Nice, (14 July 2016): Defiant mourning

Terrorist attack in Nice, (14 July 2016): Defiant mourning
La Fondation Napoléon, 7 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (Paris, 5th); on left, 18th-century listed building © Fondation Napoléon - Olivier Roques Rogery

This editorial was published in our Newsletter n. 812, on 22 July 2016. It was written by Thierry Lentz, Director of the Fondation Napoléon, after the attack on 14 July 2016 in Nice, France.

For the third time in a year and a half, the Tricolour flag on the facade of the Fondation Napoléon is at half mast. This gesture will never be considered normal, whatever the future may hold. Each event that justifies such a tribute is as heartbreaking to us as it is to all citizens. It also makes us angry, but that’s another story.

On 14 July it was of course France that was attacked. And it was the town of Nice that was the target chosen by that assassin that the journalist Vincent Hervouët (LCI) has rightly described as a “woman-beating dope smoker, and a bad Muslim”. He certainly was those things but not only …

Nice is a town with which the Foundation maintains close ties. Needless to say our president Victor-André Masséna has a very close relationship with the city, as did his ancestors. Needless to say also that the Fondation is close to the local group of the Souvenir Napoléonien with whom we have organised the exhibition on the First Italian Campaign, visible at this moment at the Villa Masséna, situated opposite the very place where three policemen put an end to the deadly spree of that worthless individual. But that’s not all, unfortunately. Our friend and colleague, Pierre Branda, is from Nice, and his family still lives in the hills above the city. The evening of the attack, his daughter was on the Promenade des Anglais. She was able to take shelter and be collected by her father. I myself have family and friends on the French Riviera where I have spent and still spend so much time. They are all (physically) unharmed. However neither Pierre nor I have been able to escape direct bereavement; one of our friends lost three of her relatives in a matter of seconds. We are thinking of them, as indeed we think of all those others mourning their loved ones.

On behalf of the dead and wounded of Nice, the dead and wounded of the Stade de France, those of the café terraces in Paris and of the Bataclan, for all those assassinated wherever it may be, for the citizens and police officers killed or wounded in January 2015, on behalf of them all but also for our country of France, we would like to say here that we stand firm more than ever and we will not give in.

Thierry Lentz
Director of the Fondation Napoléon

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