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Who said the French are cowards?

While living in America, I had the pleasure of hearing all the French jokes I could stand. Keep in mind that I can take a joke as good as anyone else. The problem was that the jokes weren’t really jokes as in ha, ha, ha. The jokes were nasty and mean. The jokesters knew nothing about the French or France. Yet, these jokesters laughingly called the French cowards and cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys. These people knew that my husband was French. These people knew that my children were Franco-American. These people actually thought I would think it was funny that they were making such crude jokes about my family. My family is not only American. My family is French. I don’t think they meant to hurt me. I think they wanted to poke fun at my husband and maybe even the fact that I, an American, married one of those French. I don’t know what they thought.

Maybe, more to the point these people didn’t think.

If they had. They would have realized that a wife and mother is not going to take someone poking fun at her husband and children very well.

Be careful what you say and who you are saying it to. Be careful that you know the people you are talking about before you open your mouth. Be careful you understand the history and culture of these people. Be careful that before you call a French a cheese-eating-surrender-monkey that you watch my video and visit the Douaumont Ossuary website.

Before you make any jokes about the French or anyone else for that matter be certain you know what you are laughing about. Maybe, just maybe, it is not funny at all.

The French fought. They fought hard.

The scars of this battle can be seen in the very earth even today.

To mock the death of these brave men is unforgivable. It is in no way humorous.

At the end of this video you will see where a village once stood. Now, all that is there is a sign with the name of the village on it and huge holes in the ground behind. I carry this memory with me. The memory of those huge holes filled with frozen water from the melting snow where bombs fell destroying centuries of life there.
It was chilling.

I have, also, included a picture of the words New York that can be found on the Ossuary…just to prove, once again, that the French are grateful to the Americans for aiding in the liberation of France during both wars.  I hear that the French aren’t grateful to the Americans all the time.  It is not true.  If you have traveled to France you have already seen the momuments.  If you have not traveled to France, you should.  You will find French gratitude all throughout France on one monument or another.  In the Cathedral of Strasbourg there are words of gratitude to American soldiers on a wall just near the famous clock.


Let us never forget Verdun
Video sent by pumpkinpie

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • cj March 8, 2006, 4:20 pm

    Its easy to make fun of those we simply do not know – isn’t it? As adults we should know better to than make fun of others. These are lessons taught in elementry school.

  • Siets March 8, 2006, 4:38 pm

    Just enjoy reading your daily things. ENjoy them a lot.

  • Alison March 8, 2006, 5:20 pm

    Very nice montage.

    A couple of years ago I accompanied a class trip to Normandie and Picardie. We visited the American cemetery, as well as French, German and Canadian cemeteries. It was humbling.

    I, too, was struck by how the land is still pockmarked, even after almost 90 years.

  • peepfrench March 8, 2006, 8:18 pm

    Excellent post…A few years back, my husband (who’s from the Lorraine region) took me and the kids to visit this place where this village once existed in Verdun..I’ll never forget those images recorded in my mind as we toured the area…

    Going back to the first part of your post, you’ll encounter ignorant people no matter where you go in this world…Aren’t you glad not to be one of them?

  • buzzgirl March 8, 2006, 9:01 pm

    Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words. I really appreciate it.

    Maybe one day you’ll meet up with some fellow bloggers, too! This’ll be my first time, actually. Jenn (noplacelikeit) has two kids, and I’ll have my 11 year old daughter with me, I think (I’m not sure if we’re meeting before or after I pick her up.) I think it will be good. I’m also going to get a coffee with Eric (parisdailyphoto) which makes me feel strangely honoroed – he’s like, famous! :)

  • D March 8, 2006, 9:39 pm

    Unfortunately, for people like that…ignorance is bliss.

  • roland March 8, 2006, 11:17 pm

    your post touch me deeply.
    I’am only 46 and I , didn’t know the horror of war but my grand-grand father told me. americans can’t understand why french surender so fast during WW2! Every village have 10 or 20 men who didn’t came back twenty years ago. Every day they can see in the streets mens with legs and arms missing,”les gueules cassées” (the broken faces with leather masks). The war had touch every family during 4 years and every one had swear “plus jamais cela” (never again)
    . I leave in a little town in south of France and every day , in the heart of the town,I pass in front of the american cemetary of the WW2 and my heart is full of gratitude to those young boys who came from so far to fight and are now in a grave near my free house.
    The mane gate is just in front of 2 schools where 2000 students go daily and trust me you can’t pretend to do not see all those white . We shear this land with all of those dead young boys
    I think to them may be more often than most of american do!
    I don’t agree with all the GWB staff and the way he pretend to rule “his” world but I say thank you to all thoses famillys who loose a child.

  • Richard March 9, 2006, 4:23 am

    “Ils ne passeront pas”

    and they didn’t!

    Vive la France.

  • Pumpkin Pie March 9, 2006, 9:13 am

    I think that every country has people in it that don’t understand or even care if what they say is right or not and if it hurts others.

    Roland,
    Thank you for your beautiful comment. It is exactly my point. And, you said it so perfectly.

    Thank you all for commenting. The real reason I first started this blog was to find a way to show Americans and the world who the French are. My blog then quickly turned into a sort of medicine for my homesickness and I have met many people through my blog. It has, also, become a sounding board for my thoughts.
    However, my blog is best used when I am able to make a post like this.

    It makes me happy to share what I have seen and learned about these brave Frenchmen.

    Buzzgirl, You will have a great time and I hope someday to meet up with some fellow bloggers. It would be fun.

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