On July 14, a truck drove into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France, killing at least 84 people in what French authorities have called a terrorist attack. Two American citizens were among those lost. Upon learning of the horrific attack, President Obama offered the following statement:
"On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded. I have directed my team to be in touch with French officials, and we have offered any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice. We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack.
On this Bastille Day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world, and we know that the character of the French Republic will endure long after this devastating and tragic loss of life."
The President has ordered that the flags been flown at half staff across the country and at U.S. embassy and military facilities around the world.
He then spoke with the Ambassador of France to the U.S. Gérard Araud before he spoke to the Diplomatic Corps at the White House.
President Obama also spoke today by phone with President Francois Hollande of France to offer his heartfelt condolences on behalf of the American people to the people of France on yesterday’s horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France. The President noted that this terrible attack was particularly heinous given that it struck revelers celebrating Bastille Day. The President offered to President Hollande any assistance the French may require in their efforts to investigate and recover from this tragic loss of life. The President thanked President Hollande for France’s unwavering support to the Counter-ISIL Coalition and in the broader global fight to confront all terrorism, and he reaffirmed the strong and ongoing partnership of the United States with France, our oldest ally.
Earlier this morning, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter called French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian to offer his and the entire Department of Defense's deepest condolences to the French people, the families of the victims, and the French government for yesterday's attack in Nice. Secretary Carter also expressed his and the department's solidarity with France, and pledged his support to intensify joint efforts against terrorism. Secretary Carter and Minister Le Drian agreed to discuss the attack and the response next week in Washington when the secretary will gather the defense ministers from the counter-ISIL military coalition. The defense ministerial at Joint Base Andrews will discuss the next steps in the military campaign and the requirements needed to further accelerate the defeat of ISIL.
Today, on behalf of American citizens, Secretary of State John Kerry offered our deepest condolences to all who lost loved ones.
He also released the following statement:
"On behalf of all Americans, and especially the great many with close ties to France, I offer our deepest condolences to the friends and family of those who were killed and our hopes for a speedy recovery to those who were injured. I was proud to stand alongside French leaders earlier today at Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, and the United States will continue to stand firmly with the French people during this time of tragedy. We will provide whatever support is needed. Our embassy in Paris is making every effort to account for the welfare of U.S. citizens in Nice. Any U.S. citizens in Nice should contact friends and family directly to inform them of their well being."
Attorney General Loretta Lynch offered the Department of Justice's assistance to France in the ongoing terror investigation.
“I join the President in condemning what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those lost and wounded. The Department of Justice has reached out to our French counterparts to offer our assistance in the investigation.”