Jean-Marie Bockel, Senator and father of Lt. Pierre-Emmanuel Bockel – died with 12 other soldiers in the collision of two French helicopters on 25 November in Mali – told France 5 on the C plateau that his son "loved the army but not the war.
He commented on the tribute ceremony presided over by Emmanuel Macron that took place on December 2nd at the Invalides. 2,500 people, including many politicians and the families of the victims, came to attend the event alongside coffins draped in national colors. The President of the Republic pronounced a eulogy after which he awarded the Legion of Honor, posthumously, to the thirteen soldiers who died for France.
A man "engaged"
The father of the dead soldier in Africa said that Pierre-Emmanuel was the pride of his family, a man who "has always been engaged". "We were proud of our little pilot. He had a passion for air. He liked to serve, "said the senator. But "before being a soldier, he was a good son, a good brother, with a fiancee he loved," MrBockel told RTL's microphone.
The thirteen soldiers will be buried this week in separate funerals.