French Club members feel pain of attack in France a little deepe - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

French Club members feel pain of attack in France a little deeper

Edmond Boudreaux, left, Elton Bienvenue look at the French flag painted on the mural at The Fleur de Lis Society's The French Club in Biloxi. (Photo source: WLOX News) Edmond Boudreaux, left, Elton Bienvenue look at the French flag painted on the mural at The Fleur de Lis Society's The French Club in Biloxi. (Photo source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The French influence is part of the Mississippi Coast’s DNA, and the Fleur de Lis Society’s French Club is the biggest keeper of that culture.

That culture, say members, makes the hurt from Friday’s attack on their homeland a little harder to take.

“You’re proud of being French,” said French historian and club member Edmond Boudreaux. “We’re American by brain, soul and heart and by birth, but we also have a little piece of us that is attached to France. And anything that happens in France, whether it be tragic or triumph it affects us.”

Edmond Boudreaux is a French historian who owns artifacts from Pierre Le Moyne D’Iberville himself. But he knows the people now as much as he knows their history and their effect on the Coast.

“That’s where we need to keep our focus,” Boudreaux said. “This is part of everybody’s heritage along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We should feel for the French and their losses just like they felt for our losses when 911 occurred.”

Just before the news broke of France’s attack in Syria, Boudreaux said this:

“There will be a quick retaliation. That will be the first thing. They’ll make some kind of response to that. Sustaining it may be difficult down the line, but their first initial reaction will be a hard hit.”

Elton Bienvenue has been a member of the club since he was a teen. He says the French people will be resilient even in the face of disaster.

“I think they’re going to go on with their lives just like they always have, they’re going to do like we did after 911. They’re not going to back down one bit," said Bienvenue. They’re going to continue every program that they’ve ever had. The public is going to go out. They’re not going to cower and hide. They didn’t in World War II.”

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