It is with the deepest grief that the world learned this morning of the death of Charles de Gaulle.
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Background: It is with the deepest grief that the world learned this morning of the death of Charles de Gaulle. In reality he is one of those men who never die. When he arrived in London in June of 1940, an unknown or rather an ignored general, he declared without further ado that he represented France. During the next four years he did much more. He was not only the very symbol of France's resistance and rebirth: he inspired all Europe at our civilization's darkest hour. After the war he was one of the rebuilders of our continent. Later he carried on his work of a patriot and freedom-loving leader by saving France from another crisis and setting up new ties of brotherhood between France and Africa.
A few hours ago the President of France said, "France is a widow". In truth the whole world is in mourning.
Allow me now to read the final lines of Memories of Hope, the last book of Charles de Gaulle.
"As France goes on her way my task has always been to guide her upwards, whereas other voices below urge her ceaselessly to come back down. Having once more chosen to listen to what i said, she had left debility behind and gone on to a genuine rebirth. But today just as yesterday I can show her no goal other than the summit, and no road other than the road of effort."