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London/Free French Forces

Published on June 20, 2012
Commemoration of 18 June 1940 – Message to London’s French community, read by the French Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, on behalf of Mme Yamina Benguigui, Minister Delegate for French Nationals Abroad

and Francophony

London, June 18, 2012

To mark our commemoration this morning, Mme Yamina Benguigui, Minister Delegate for French Nationals Abroad and Francophony, attached to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has asked me to read this message, on her behalf, to London’s French community, and especially to you, chers pupils of the Lycée Charles de Gaulle.

“Dear compatriots in London,

“Today you are celebrating the memory of a man who gave the French people courage, at the darkest hour, to continue the struggle against totalitarian barbarism, to rise up against an appalling plan to dominate our continent.

“Charles de Gaulle and the first of his fellow men, the first Free French Forces, restored to us our honour and freedom.

“French people today, abroad and in metropolitan France, have inherited this freedom.

“In London, the capital of free Europe during the Second World War, more than anywhere else you are conscious of being the guardians of this part of our shared history.

“This morning I was at Mont Valérien, an important place of national remembrance, with the Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Minister Delegate for Veterans to take part in the national ceremony marking the historic Appeal of 18 June 1940.

“I salute and congratulate you on paying homage today and passing on this living memory of the Free French Forces to our young generations of French people abroad”./.

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