Local Francophiles feel deep sense of loss in French terror tragedy

Local Francophiles feel deep sense of loss in French terror tragedy

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "We are still threatened, deeply threatened. This story is over now with 17 dead people which is very, very sad - very talented people, gifted people, journalists, artists," said Consul General Gregor Trumel.

Trumel began as the Consul General in New Orleans just five months ago, but he said a vast showing of support from people across Louisiana comforted him as he mourned the attack on his home country and the loss of a close friend and adviser.

"One of the journalists who was killed, Bernard Maris, was my teacher of economics. So, I knew him personally. So, I was very, very sad on a personal point of view," Trumel said. "He was a life enjoyer and he has a lot of convictions and ideals. I loved him a lot, I was very, very sad."

Maris was a regular on French radio and a contributor to the newspaper. It is a paper that included cartoons that evoked more than just laughter for decades.

Jacques Soulas, the owner of Café Degas, said he used to read the cartoons growing up, and based on the outpouring of support, it's clear New Orleanians understand the severity of the attack in terms of lives lost as well as the symbolism.

"All those cartoonists and illustrators, and people that did the illustrated stories, we put these people in high esteem over there - just like we do some of our best artists. So, that was really sad, sad news to hear," Soulas said.

It's news that Trumel said he hopes will only strengthen the bond between Democratic states.

"The threat is still going on. We have to be very cautious. It's not just France, it's anywhere in the free world. So, it's very important for us to be united and to defend the common values we have. We share those values," Trumel said.

Trumel said he was especially moved by President Obama's visit to the French Embassy and the signing of a book of condolences.

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