Once again, agents of evil have attempted to do what Adolf Hitler could not: destroy Paris. And once again, we awake from a state of shock to get up and stand with France, especially Paris. One can only wonder how much longer this City of Light can keep lit that flickering flame of “enlightenment.”

The Council for the Development of French in Louisiana is our state’s agency for Francophone affairs, and it is this agency that is tasked with overseeing relations with countries such as France through signed accords. The recent tragedy and ensuing state of emergency in Paris certainly will have an effect on this extraordinary cooperation, which surely will strengthen this historic relationship begun in 1699.

Our hearts go out to the over 200 foreign associate teachers of French in Louisiana, and we pray that their families and loved ones are now and will remain safe and strong. These teachers have contributed so much to Louisiana over the past decades. They have not only added immeasurable value to Louisiana’s French brand, but they have touched thousands of lives in our classrooms where so many of them have embodied the core values of French civilization: liberté, egalité, fraternité. It is a legacy well worth preserving.

To the consul general of France in New Orleans and especially to the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo (who was recently in Lafayette and New Orleans for the International Association of Francophone Mayors), CODOFIL wishes to express our deepest sympathies for the victims of this senseless tragedy as we in Louisiana firmly resolve to never allow the flame of our French heritage to be extinguished. Courage!

Charles Larroque

executive director, CODOFIL