Former director of the Alliance Francaise de Denver describes moments in Nice

Denver's French community mourns attack victims
Posted at 5:47 PM, Jul 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-15 23:29:26-04

DENVER -- For thousands of French nationals in Denver, news of Thursday’s deadly attack in Nice that killed more than 80 has been hard to deal with as they work to contact friends and family in France.

The Alliance Fracaise de Denver opened its doors to anyone needing support on Friday.

“My initial reaction was not again,” said Chris Poulet, Vice President of the board of directors at the Alliance.

The Alliance offers activities and French language courses in Denver. 

Friday morning staff received some good news from one of their former directors, Philipe Marse, who now works in Nice.

“We’re very pleased and relieved this morning that he and his family are safe,” said Linette Hayet, President of the board of directors at the Alliance.

Denver7 spoke with Marse from his home in France through a Skype interview.

He says he planned to go to the Bastille Day celebration in Nice with his wife and kids, but in the end they opted not to.

“We are lucky with that,” he said.

He says the atmosphere in Nice is nothing like it usually is.

“You feel something really strange,” he said, “because there was no noise; it was really sad.”

Masse says hearing from his friends and family in Denver has been encouraging.

“That’s the good part of the bad thing,” he said.

The Alliance in Denver will host a memorial service on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at their location on 571 Galapago St.