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Thread: French Embrace FDNY Guests

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    French Embrace FDNY Guests

    French Embrace FDNY Guests


    By RICHARD SISK
    Daily News Washington Bureau


    WASHINGTON

    Paris gave its heart to New York yesterday in a stirring ceremony to welcome several city firefighters and families of their slain 9/11 colleagues.

    With lights flashing and horns blasting, fire trucks from the Brigade de Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris

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    France Honors NYC Firefighters

    France Honors NYC Firefighters

    JOSEPH COLEMAN
    Associated Press Writer

    PARIS (AP) -- Retired firefighter John Vigiano stood silently Friday as he accepted a French award on behalf of the New York Fire Department for courage in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.


    But on his mind was his personal loss: two of his sons were killed when the World Trade Center collapsed.

    ``They were heroes,'' said Vigiano of Deer Park, N.Y., showing the photographs of his fallen sons - one a firefighter and one a detective - that he keeps taped on the inside of his blue cap.

    Vigiano, a retired captain with 36 years in the department, and five other firefighters accepted France's Gold Medal for an Act of Courage and Devotion in a ceremony at the Interior Ministry.

    The World Trade Center attacks killed 343 firefighters.

    The firefighters stood in formation as French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy pinned the medal on a red and white NYFD flag and a marching band played the Star Spangled Banner.

    The firefighters and family members of colleagues killed in the attacks are in France to mark the signing of a cooperation agreement between the New York and Paris fire departments. They will also attend celebrations Sunday marking Bastille Day, France's national holiday.

    ``This is spectacular,'' said Adam Vilagos, a firefighter based in Brooklyn. ``I think it's a great honor for the fire department.'' He called it a ``once-in-a-lifetime'' opportunity.

    Squads of Paris firefighters and the national police also attended the ceremony.

    The Bastille Day parade this year will include a squad of more than 160 cadets from West Point in New York. The cadets are guests of the French military academy of St. Cyr invited to celebrate the two institutions' 200th anniversary - both founded in 1802.

    The cadets held a practice march early Friday down the sweeping Champs-Elysees, site of the Bastille Day parade.

    The inclusion this year of the cadets ``shows the American people that the French really appreciate what we've done,'' said cadet Olivia Zimmerman.

    National Fire Department Patch of France

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    Paris Bittersweet for NYC Families

    JULY 13, 14:24 ET
    Paris Bittersweet for NYC Families

    By JOSEPH COLEMAN
    Associated Press Writer

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PARIS (AP)

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    FAMILIES FDNY IN FRANCE

    PHOTO
    AP/Jacques Brinon
    Timothy Olsen, 7, smiles as he poses for photographers with an unidentified French fireman after they exchanged hats, upon his arrival at Paris-Charles De Gaulle airport, in Roissy, north of Paris, Monday, July 8, 2002. The families of New York firefighters who died in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center arrived in France on Monday, for a 12-day visit as guests of the Paris Fire Department. Timothy's father Steven Olsen, right, is the brother-in-law of New York firefighter David Halderman, who was killed in the attacks

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    Sept. 11 Families Honored in Paris

    Sept. 11 families honored in Paris

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    PARIS, July 13

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    FRANCE REMEMBERS FDNY

    Janice Testa, of Valley Stream, NY, center, and Gerard Jean Baptiste holding a picture of his son Gerard, pay homage to the firefighters killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks during a ceremony at the city hall of Paris, Saturday July 13, 2002. New York firemen and family members of colleagues who died in the World Trade Center attacks taking a 12-day visit to France and will attend celebrations in Paris on Sunday for Bastille Day. Testa's brother Henry Miller and Gerard Baptiste were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks. Others seen are unidentified. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

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    FDNY TRUCK TO FRANCE

    Sun Jul 14,10:21 AM ET

    A NY firefighter truck leads French firetrucks during Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees avenue Sunday July 14, 2002 in Paris. Firefighters and family members of colleagues killed in the Sept. 11 attacks are in France to mark the signing of a cooperation agreement between New York and Paris departments and attend celebrations of Bastille Day, France's national holiday. The Arc de Triomphe is seen in the background.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

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    DANGER FOR FRENCH PRESIDENT

    Sun Jul 14,10:17 AM ET

    French President Jacques Chirac, center, and Army Chief of Staff General Jean-Pierre Kelche, right, review troops aboard a command car during the Bastille Day parade, Sunday July 14, 2002 in Paris. A would-be assassin pulled a rifle out of a guitar case and fired at least one shot as French President Jacques Chirac passed Sunday during the annual Bastille Day military parade. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

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    Paris Firefighters Hail Fallen Bravest

    Paris Firefighters Hail Fallen Bravest


    By SCOTT HEIDLER
    Special to The News


    PARIS

    The Paris Fire Department honored its colleagues from New York yesterday with all the pomp and panache that seem to be a special province of the French.

    The grand event, capped with a Champagne reception, was held to launch a cooperative agreement between the two departments resulting from the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

    Seventy-five New York firefighters and the families of firefighters killed on Sept. 11 have been getting the red carpet treatment from the Paris Fire Department and the French government since Monday.

    "The psychological shock that we felt turned into a great feeling of admiration for our American counterparts," said the chief of the Paris firefighters, Gen. Jacques Debarnot.

    The 12-day visit has included all the best Paris has to offer, including special tours of the Eiffel Tower, a cruise on the Seine aboard Paris fire boats, invitations to the annual Paris Firefighters' Ball and visits to many Paris museums.

    A Rare Trip

    "Never in my life did I think I would see the 'Mona Lisa,' and I have never even met the President of the U.S., and tomorrow I'll be meeting the president of France," said Geraldine Halderman, who lost her son David Halderman of Squad 18 on Sept. 11. "Bittersweet is the only way you can describe it."


    Chief of New York Fire Department Daniel Nigro (l.) signs cooperation agreement with Chief of Paris Firefighters Jacques Debarnot during yesterday's ceremonies.
    Today, the group will attend a garden party celebrating Bastille Day, the French national day, at the Presidential Palace, with President Jacques Chirac serving as host.

    The firefighters and families also will be Chirac's special guests during the annual military parade this morning on the Champs

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