Local French community reacts to terror attack in Nice

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News of the horror spread quickly throughout the local French community. (WPVI)

On Friday, Nice, France, woke up to a disturbing new reality. Its famed promenade along the Mediterranean is now also known for the scene of yet another attack.

News of the horror spread quickly throughout the local French community.

"Suddenly someone came to me and said, 'Did you hear what happened?' and I said, 'No.' And so we heard," said Alliance Francaise Executive Director Martine Chauvet.



Chauvet and more than 100 others were celebrating Bastille Day at French restaurant, Le Cheri in Rittenhouse Square when phones started going off.

"We had 150 French people here, just eating, drinking, having a good time, gathering, which is what Bastille Day is all about," said Charlotte Calmels, owner.

The celebratory mood quickly turned somber.

"We had minute of silence and tried to continue the evening," said Chauvet. "It was not easy."
One of Chauvet's students witnessed the horror firsthand.

"One of our students called us this morning, she left a message on our answering machine, and she was crying and she said, 'I just want to tell you we're OK. We were in the middle of it,' " said Chauvet. "It's one thing to see things on television and another thing to be right there."

But both say the phone calls, the hashtags for prayers and the images are becoming an increasingly common occurrence.

"I know it's going to happen again probably because for them it's getting easier and easier," said Chauvet.

"I don't know why they're hitting France all the time," said Calmels.
The two already had plans to visit France at the end of this month, and that's not changing.

"I mean I'm not, not going to go to France because of that," said Chauvet.

There is a vigil set for Saturday, organized by several large organizations in the French community at Valley Forge Park.

Though they are thousands of miles away, the local community says they are grieving with their country.
Related Topics:
newsu.s. & worldnice truck attackterrorism
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