As I watched President Barack Obama stand with his hand over his heart this morning in Strasbourg, France while the French military band played The Star Spangled Banner for his arrival, I thought how cool it is to be here while our new President makes his first visit to Europe.
President Obama's arrival in Strasbourg today reminds me that I was in France for both the first election of Francois Mitterrand in 1981 and Nicolas Sarkozy's election last year.
On the 10th of May 1981 when Mitterrand was announced to have won the French Presidential Election I was a 5th grade student on an exchange program to France. The family I lived with resided in a suburb of Paris. I recall the excitement in our small town over the outcome of the election and seeing the frenzy in Paris on the T.V. news and in newspaper photos.
Sarkozy's election was quite a different feeling in Paris from what I recall of Mitterrand's election. There were protests in the streets and anti-Sarkozy/Popular Party graffiti throughout the city. People were weeping over the loss of the Socialist Party candidate Segolene Royale. I recall hearing on the news that were it not for such a large population of elderly in France who overwhelmingly voted Sarkozy, then it would have been a huge Royal win.
My point is not to make statements one way or the other on American or French politics just to note how neat it is to me that I was in France for all three of the above mentioned events.
God Bless America & Vive La France!