Our tribute to General Georgelin: "He dreamed of seeing the arrow point again in the sky"

Our tribute to General Georgelin: “He dreamed of seeing the arrow point again in the sky”

Certain personalities mark our lives as journalists: General Jean-Louis Georgelin was one of them. His gravelly voice and his military stature impressed. It was for his reputation as an authority that Emmanuel Macron had entrusted him with the restoration site of the cathedral of Paris the day after the fire, on April 16, 2019, with the mission of leading it in five years. A challenge that the Saint-Cyrian had accepted, “rushing without knowing where he was stepping so much (his) pride in being chosen was real”, he had confided to me. From the outset, the former chief of staff of the armies had ruled out failure “for the honor of France”. So he moved forward with determination, even if it meant being rough, sometimes, with his collaborators whom he esteemed. Because the man was hiding behind the soldier.

His attachment to our weekly had enabled us to break the armor and enter the construction site of the cathedral. Passionate about history, this Catholic from Haute-Garonne was passionate about Christian heritage. Pyrenean at heart, he died at the age of 74, during a solo hike in his mountains, on August 18, at an altitude of 2,000 m, confirming his taste for height. Hoisted on the scaffolding of Notre-Dame de Paris, he liked to admire the fight between vice and virtue up close on the western rose window, one of the rare joys he allowed himself. “But I don’t have time for poetry, he concluded, I have a deadline to meet.” He dreamed of seeing the spire of the cathedral point again in the sky of Paris and of declaring “Mission accomplished”. The companions will say it for him.

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