To Paris, With Love
A note from Carolyn: Louise Dillery was one of two individuals who translated Marcel’s letters into English. When I asked what she would say to people in her beloved Paris following last week’s attack, she wrote the following, and wanted me to help get her message out:
“I was born in Paris. I came to Minnesota shortly after World War II, when I was in my early 20s, thinking it was just for a visit. As it turned out, I made my life here, in these beautiful Twin Cities, and now I call myself a proud Minnesotan.
All this being said, I am also proud to call myself a former Parisian girl, and at this time of course, a grieving Parisian. But the point of this article is not to express my personal grief. So much has been said, so many beautiful statements have been made by important people.
What I feel compelled to do is address my grieving Parisian brothers and sisters as if I knew them personally, and by extension anyone who may by any chance read this article.
Through the magic of television, I see my dear Parisians weeping at the beautiful Place de la République, the same Place de la République where my closest friend Ginette and I, delirious with joy, saw our liberators, our gorgeous American G.I.s, on August 25, 1944 — the day of the Liberation of Paris.
So why am I bringing up that day of joy at this sad time? Here is why: before the Liberation we had endured four years of Occupation by the Germans, difficult years for almost everybody, but particularly dangerous for those of us who were Jewish or members of the Resistance Movement. We learned to live with the constant fear of becoming another victim of the brutal Nazis. So my point is this: we are all living now with the possibility of becoming another victim of vicious terrorists. We have to learn to be alert and vigilant, but that does not mean that we have to give up hope. Of course there will be victims and we will weep again, but we will survive. We will continue to live and love through our tears, absolutely convinced that the Force of Good will always prevail over the Force of Evil.”