July 14 is Bastille Day. It commemorates a key event in the French Revolution, the storming of the king’s prison.
The French Revolution, like the American Revolution, advanced an idea that was then revolutionary: all people have basic rights.
Police officers Ahmed Merabet and Xavier Jugelé died protecting these rights.
“He was very proud of the name Ahmed Merabet, proud to represent the police and of defending the values of the Republic – liberty, equality, fraternity.”
Officer Merabet, a Muslim, was killed by terrorists who attacked a satirical newspaper known for mocking Islam.
Officer Jugelé, a gay man, was killed guarding the cultural bureau of Turkey, a Muslim country.
One of the fundamental documents in the cause of human rights comes from the French Revolution, and Officer Jugelé’s husband discusses it in his eulogy:
This profession of policing is the only one to which the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen refers. In Article 12, it states: “The guarantee of the rights of man and of the citizen requires a public force,” with useful precision in this politically important moment: “This force is instituted for the benefit of all, and not for the advantage of those to whom it is entrusted.”
Our human rights include writing what we believe, loving whom we choose, and worshiping according to our faiths. To do so, we depend on police officers like Ahmed Merabet and Xavier Jugelé.