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September 11 Commemorations

Dear Friends and Members of French Heritage Society,

To mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, an exceptional event will take place at the Place du Trocadero in Paris. Between the wings of the Palais de Chaillot, with the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop and huge French and American flags on either side, temporary replicas of the Twin Towers will be erected, each the height of a ten- story building. The towers will carry inscriptions: on the first, the names of the tragedy's 3,056 victims; on the second, signatures and messages from thousands of French people living in the US and France who wish not only to show support and compassion for Americans ten years after the attacks, but to remind them of the gratitude the French still feel toward their American allies whose sacrifices during two world wars helped save their country.

An evening candlelight vigil will include images as well as music by children's choirs and young performers from the US. As night falls, lasers will beam from the top of the replica towers toward the Eiffel Tower, another reminder of the bond between France and America that inspired the creation of " The French Will Never Forget."

Marie-Sol de La Tour d'Auvergne, Past President of French Heritage Society, will represent French Heritage Society at a commemoration in Luxembourg Gardens. She will be in front of an oak tree and plaque that FHS put in place during a memorial ceremony for the victims of September 11th that FHS organized in January 2002.

Elizabeth F. Stribling, Chairman of the Board of French Heritage Society, and Guy Robinson, New York Chapter Chairman, will be attending two official commemoration memorials at the French Consulate in New York.

On September 11th we will all be thinking of those who lost their lives. As we honor the many heroes, we are reminded of the lasting friendship between France and America.

Northern California Chapter
French Heritage Society

Commemoration at the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris

English translation of the speech by Marie-Sol de La Tour d’Auvergne, President Emeritus of French Heritage Society

Ten years ago, the world was in a state of shock. France, like the rest of the world, was horrified. The most important democracy in the world, the United States, had just been attacked, innocent victims died.

France, the country of the human rights, wished to stand by the United States’ side. And we, French Heritage Society, an American association that brings together several thousand members in the United States and in France, considered itself to be a perfect “go-between” to express the French desire to show our friendship for the United States. The French Senate opened its doors to us and we worked with it for that commemoration [in January, 2002].

As I told you at the beginning of this ceremony, we decided to plant a symbolic tree, the American national tree, an oak, next to the Statue of Liberty, here, in the Luxembourg Gardens. We brought together French and American associations for that ceremony. And of course, numerous dignitaries, Madame Chirac [then the First-Lady of France], Christian Ponclet, President of the Senate, many Senators from the Senate, the American Embassy, all the representatives from associations from the American community in Paris. And we planted this tree, covering its roots in ashes from ground zero in New York, from the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and from Pennsylvania. It was extraordinarily moving.

This tree continues to grow and remains a powerful testimonial, and for a longtime to come, of that indelible Franco-American friendship the spans the centuries, already for several centuries now, despite everything, because we have so much in common, including the respect for human beings. So this tree will remain a testimonial and a tribute to the victims of September 11th. We will never forget.