USM holds moment of silence for Paris attack victims

USM holds moment of silence for Paris attack victims

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Members of USM's L'association Française and Mississippi's Honorary Consul of France honored the victims of Friday's terrorist attacks in France with a moment of silence Monday.

Honorary Consul of France and Southern Miss French professor Keltoum Rowland said she has been in a state of shock and disbelief since since the attacks, and said she is overwhelmed by the support of her students and the world.
"I'm so humbled by this outpouring of support," Rowland said. "I mean, to see all these students, faculty, members of the community too, it touches us. Not just me. All of the expressions of solidarity that I've seen on Facebook, students emailing me, that touched me profoundly."

Brooke Boisseau, president of L'association Française, said even though Hattiesburg may seem far away and removed, she thinks it is important that so many came out in solidarity.

"A lot of us have been to France," Boisseau said. "We love the French culture and the French people. I was in Paris. I've seen the beautiful sights that city has. It's one of the world's greatest treasures, and so we wanted to honor those who lost their lives over the weekend."

Boisseau said it is only appropriate for the U.S. to support one of its oldest allies during a time of crisis.

"France really is our oldest ally," she said. "They've been with us since way back when in the Revolutionary War. Now all of the support here in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, just shows that the world is united with France, and that we're here for them in their [sic] time of need."

Rowland said she has been in contact with her family and friends in Paris and throughout France since the attacks.

"I'm grateful that my immediate family and my friends are all safe, but my heart goes to the families that have lost their lives," Rowland said.