“You will not have my hatred,” said Etienne Cardiles, the widower of Xavier Jugelé, the policeman killed in the Champs-Élysées terror attack in Paris last Thursday. Cardiles gave a very moving speech on Tuesday, April 25 at a national tribute ceremony at the Paris police headquarters. French President François Hollande presided over the ceremony in one of his last public appearances as Head of State before the second round of presidential elections.
Cardiles started his speech by saying, “Xavier, I love you. You will always stay in my heart.” To our knowledge, it is the first time in France that the words of a policeman’s gay partner have ever been heard at an official ceremony of this magnitude.
Cardiles also reiterated the words of Antoine Leiris, who lost his wife and his child’s mother during Paris terrorist attack on November 13, 2015.
“It’s a lesson in life that made me grow so much that it protects me today,” Cardiles said of Antoine Leiris’s words, “I suffer without hatred.” “This hatred, Xavier, I do not have it because it does not resemble you, because it does not correspond to anything that made your heart beat,” said the policeman’s companion — the two had a civil union together.
Etienne Cardiles also talks of the passion of Jugelé for his job. “The general interest, the service of others and the protection of all of us was part of your education and your convictions,” he continued.
Cardiles also said:
“You took your service at 14 o’clock in this policing uniform, of which you took so much care. I know that this type of mission pleases you because it was the Champs-Élysées and the image of France … which you protected…. I returned in the evening without you … When I learned that an attack had taken place on the Champs-Élysées, that a policeman had been killed, I knew in my heart that it was you.”
Later on, he spoke of the other passions of Jugelé for music and cinema. “He could go to see five movies in a row on a sunny afternoon of August.”
During his tribute, Hollande did talked several times about Jugelé’s companion. He also mentioned the fact that Jugelé was a member of the LGBT police association Flag!
Hundreds of people and many police officers gathered outside the police headquarters to watch the ceremony on a giant screen. Many members of government and the two finalists of presidential race, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, also attended.
Watch the video (in french) of the moving tribute of Etienne Cardiles, male companion of Xavier Jugelé: