SM East students get views from French pen pals following Paris attacks

Laure Losey's French III students pose by a banner they made to show solidarity with their French pen pals in the wake of the Paris attacks.
Laure Losey’s French III students pose by a banner they made to show solidarity with their French pen pals in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Following the devastating attacks in Paris on Friday, SM East teacher Laure Losey thought it would be a good idea to have her advanced French students send letters of condolence to the pen pals they’d been corresponding with since the start of the school year.

The responses the students got were heartwarming and fascinating.

French 3 student Grace Menninger sent her pen pal a message with the subject line “En Solidarité” and included a photo of Kansas City’s Union Station lit up in the colors of the French flag following the attacks.

Her pen pal wrote the following in response:

“Thank you so much it’s very nice. I’m touched by your mail and I’m happy you sent it to me. It’s beautiful to see the entire world reassure us. It’s a hard event and I know you can understand us with the September 11th but we continue the life and I think that’s the better solution.”

SM East student Sophie Kunin’s pen pal said she was at a party to watch the soccer match between France and Germany “when this horror arrived in Paris.”

“We are very sad here,” the student responded.

Losey worked with a counterpart at Collège Robert Schuman in Amilly, outside the city of Montargis about an hour and a half south of Paris, to set up the pen pal program a couple of years ago.