Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Message From Vendée

This editorial by "chouannerie", in France-Echos is a simple heartfelt message that reflects very closely the way I felt that day, and for many weeks thereafter as I remained literally glued to the television. While I rarely watch commercial TV here, I found that, on September 11, Tom Brokaw of NBC gave excellent coverage, and I stayed with him for many days. Our so-called public television, PBS, was, from the beginning, featuring interviews with individuals who were convinced we had asked for this horror. (PBS is now something of a joke, the quality of its programming having fallen below sub-mediocre and its mania for fund-raising having risen to the status of permanent nuisance).

I remember September 11, 2001, and that day, that date will remain engraved in my mind till the end of my days; I had played a slot-machine and won about 400 francs. We were on vacation on the Atlantic coast near Noirmoutier.

That particular day, the rest of the family had gone to clean out the house of my grand-parents who had died in July and August 2001.

I will remember for a long time the date that was tragic for humanity and the entire world: on that day, Islamic attacks were committed in New York and at the Pentagon in Washington. It profoundly shocked me and I will never forget the images of the dead, the horror, the terror that so many New Yorkers must have felt.

The same evening, back in Noirmoutier, I turned on the television and saw the images of the planes flying into the Twin Towers and I felt myself choke. I relived this tragedy many times even in my sleep, and this went on until April 21, 2002.

War was now on everyone's mind and seeing a great American city in smoking ruins, in the ruins of the Twin Towers, struck me as being the greatest tragedy of the budding 21st century.

Why this crime, this horror against our universal conscience?

What did these Islamists want?

As soon as they announced what had happened, I went into the village to buy some Coca-Cola and told the merchants and their customers in the grocery store that the USA had been attacked. The people were stunned! They understood my sadness as I burst into tears.

From that day on, the people of Vendée all felt themselves to be American and I myself had become a New Yorker.

On September 11, wear a black arm-band or a flag to show the mourning of the Western countries for those who were our American friends. A terrifying tragedy.

Observe at a given time several minutes of silence.

Never forget, never forget!

We thank them! We will never forget!

Buy Coca-Cola!

Signed: Chouannerie

Chouannerie sounds like a charming young girl (I think it's a girl). She is from Vendée, land of Philippe de Villiers, a monarchical stronghold during the French Revolution where many loyalists lost their lives. It is not surprising that Vendée would be sympathetic.

This contrasts sharply with a guest on Radio-France Internationale, on the morning of September 12. I don't know who he was. I turned on the station (which we used to receive in my city), and heard a male voice say that this would teach us a good lesson, since we had prevented Africans from exporting their cotton. I was incredulous, but I realized that France had drifted into a new realm quite different from the world I lived in. This man may not have been typical, but he certainly was cold-blooded.

Many people, I'm sure, have visited the Zombietime website and seen the remarkable photos of the disaster, taken at very close range two days after the event. The one above is of the wreckage of the North Tower. Thanks to Lawrence Auster for the tip.

BTW - with respect to Chouannerie, I still prefer wine.


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