Visit of the Ambassador of France to the United States
The Ambassador of France, Mr François Delattre, payed his second visit to Louisiana, by visiting Lafayette and the Acadiana at the end of June 2012.
He met with Lafayette Mayor, Joey Durel, and Senator Eric Lafleur, president of the Association of Francophone Parliamentarians in Louisiana, Dr. William Arceneaux, President of CODOFIL and Mr. Phlippe Gustin, Director of the Centre International.
During his stay, the Ambassador visited the exhibition of the Bicentennial Louisiana: 200 years later at the Lafayette Science Museum, in partnership with Espace Mendes France in Poitiers. He attended Mr. Emmanuel Fontainieu’s lecture, director of the Corderie Royale of La Rochelle, on the history of the Arsenal of Rochefort and the construction of the replica of the Hermione, the ship with which La Fayette had crossed the Atlantic to support the fight for the Independence of the United States.
During a panel discussion, moderated by the director of CODOFIL, Mr. Joseph Dunn, and in presence of Representative Stephen Ortego, with the participation of key institutions and cultural francophone associations, the Ambassador had the opportunity to exchange on French language in Louisiana today.
In the evening, the Ambassador was the special guest at a Gala to support the scholarships of the Foundation Louisiana. At this event, he met with Lieutenant-Governor Jay Dardenne, who travelled to France in Octobrr to sign the new Louisiana – France Accords regarding cooperation in education and French language. Thanks to the fundraisin, La Fondation Louisiane gathered more than $18,000 to finance exchange programs with France, especially in the framework of "Escadrille Louisiane".
Grâce aux fonds levés à l’occcasion de la soirée, la Fondation Louisiane a réuni plus de 18 000$ pour financer les bourses des élèves et étudiants bénéficiant des programmes d’échanges avec la France, notamment dans le cadre du programme "Escadrille Louisiane".
The following day, the Ambassador visited the Acadian Memorial and the Maison Duchamp in St. Martinville and later exchanged with officials from the University of Lafayette at the Louisiana Immersive Technology Enterprise.
Ambassador Delattre encounted with the French community in Acadiana as well as Louisianans officials and economic development representatives, including of French companies operating locally.
During a private ceremony, the Ambassador presented the insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor to Mr. J. Lorcey Sonnier, Louisianan veteran of World War II.
Mr. J. Lorcey Sonnier (born on May 2, 1924 in Leroy, Louisiana) was incorporated in the 322 Squadron, 91 Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force based in Cambridge, England, in February 1943. From March to August 1944, as a tail-gunner on a B-17 bomber, he fought in Normandy, North of France and during the air defense of the D-Day events. During 6 months, he took part in more than 30 missions, in France and Germany, which allow him to be bestowed, among others medals; of the "Distinguished Flying Cross" by his country.