Farewell to Brodie Copeland, Texas
As the founder of the French American class program, I want to apologize for what happened in Nice on our National Day.
For more than 25 years, I brought over 40 000 American fifth graders , children of your age, to France to stay for 3 weeks in a French school, hosted by a family and sharing experiences with their French Buddy.
They returned to the United-States, their head filled with beautiful memories, their heart overflowing with friendship and their dream was to come back soon.
For 25 years, they came safely from New York, Florida, California and Texas. They stayed in Paris, in Nice, in Lyon and many small towns protected by the vigilance and love of our families. In return our French children spent the same length of time with American families, going to American schools, sharing good times with their American counterparts.
I think that your visit was the first one to our beautiful country and for a few days, you seem to have enjoyed the beach, the sea and the Promenade des Anglais.
But, dear Brodie, times have changed due to the stupidity of men, to the perversity of a few, willing and ready to turn a splendid sea shore avenue into a nightmare.
Unfortunately that evening, you and your father, unaware of the devilish mind of a driver, came to watch the fireworks.
What should have been a most happy evening turned out to be the end of your short life. Brutally your life was terminated.
You have become for me and for many French people the « Lone star of Texas » with your baseball uniform, your Texas accent and your life full of projects.
Your star will shine for ever above the French Riviera and will serve as an example of what men can do to men and children.
You have unfortunately joined hundreds and hundreds of children from Iraq, Syria, Lybia who drowned in the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea trying to find a better life.
To all of you children gone too soon, to all the Brodies of this earth, I as an adult have to be ashame of what we can do to children
Rest in peace and keep shining over the French Riviera.
Farewell, Adieu !
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