Local reaction to Nice, France terror attack

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – St. Louis has many connections to France. After all, the city was named after a French king and founded by French fur trappers. And in times of trouble, the connection runs especially deep.

“There is a feeling—greatly appreciated—of solidarity from the rest of the world and I think if you are a French national in St. Louis, it tugs at your heart; it pains you as part of the world, but even more as part of France,” said Henry Biggs, the Honorary French consul for St. Louis.

At Brentwood Travel, news of the tragedy hit hard because their boss was in Nice, France and caught the last flight out the night of the attack.

To borrow a British expression, their motto is “keep calm and carry on.”

“I still say to my clients, ‘If we love to travel, keep doing it; because it happens here, everywhere has had issues and it can’t keep us from doing things,'” said General Manager Susan Hakenjos.

Just back to St. Louis from France is Elizabeth Gentry Sayad, the Chairman Emeritus of Les Amis St. Louis, a French heritage preservation organization.

“I was amazed,” Sayad said. “I thought that tourism would be slowed down and I was dead wrong—cafes were overflowing, lines as long as always, reservations hard to get, tourists from all over the world from everywhere.”

Still it is giving people pause and even though St. Louis is thousands of miles from France, the attack has left many here with a Creve Coeur – French for "broken heart."