My gallery may not look it, but I've always admired France. Paris especially. It's a longstanding American tradition. After all, there'd be no United States if not for France's aid during our revolution. When I first watched The Aristocats as a very small child I was, for the first time, exposed to a foreign language and the knowledge that a country other than America existed. I still remember sitting bewildered in front of the television once the intro singer broke into French, asking myself "What on Earth is that man doing with his voice?"
For a time, I thought France was the only other country in the world, and long after elementary school had set me straight it maintained it's mystique. I think most kids tend to idolize the first foreign culture they ever learn about, and I was no exception. I wanted to live there, I thought the interiors of every French residence looked as nice as Madame Adelaide's, I thought there was no such thing as an uncouth or uneducated Frenchman, my favorite book was (and still is) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and I suppose it'll come as no surprise that Crispy's design was inspired by Duchess. Initially I didn't know the catacombs of Paris contained the remains of French citizens exhumed from their graves, I thought they were the remains of France's enemies, and the Parisians were so hardcore they hallowed out the earth beneath their city specifically to create a sprawling bone-shrine dedicated to their own badassery and a warning to any would-be attackers, then proceeded to prance around on the surface eating baguette and playing the accordion like it wasn't even shit. "Nobody fucks with France." thought kid-me.
It wasn't until my first viewing of India Jones and The Raiders of The Lost Ark several years later that Germany stole the spotlight but, long before I'd ever set eyes on a Reichsadler, I looked up to the Gallic rooster. What I'm trying to say is, France made a very big impression on me growing up. When Herr Palladium informed me Paris was under attack, he might as well have said "New York is under attack" or "American civilians are being gunned down."
Unfortunately, not unlike Klaus here, I'm helpless to do anything but stand by and offer my sincerest condolences while an old friend suffers...