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Letter from Marie Agnus, granddaughter of Jean Agnus to the Minister of the Armed Forces 

Mrs Florence PARLY
Minister of the Armed Forces
14 rue Saint-Dominique
75007 PARIS



      _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     Montaigut sur Save, le 17 décembre 2018



Madam Minister,


      _cc781905- My name is Marie Agnus.

      _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_  I take the liberty of writing to you today to tell you the story of a little girl. -136bad5cf58d_
She is 8 years old, brown curls all around her face and big green eyes open to the world. One day, while walking with her dad, this little girl discovered that an old man living a few dozen meters from her home knew her grandfather. A happy coincidence it seems since his father immediately goes home to talk about it. In the living room, his eyes were red as when he lit the fire. After a while, after talking in a low voice for long minutes, the old gentleman looked at the little girl and suggested that she go upstairs to see a big box full of old newspapers that she was having trouble getting. read and black and white photos. While the adults were talking, she made a small pile of photos and a few scraps of newspapers that she thought were important because they were full of words. But above all, among all these words, the name of his grandfather.

      _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_  The little girl and her father have returned home, and everything is back to normal, apart from her dad's trips to the old man. But she had no right to come now. Never mind. She would investigate on her own.

      _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_  Unlike the adults, she, with her child's eyes, could see and speak to her grandfather. Every night for years, she waited until her parents thought she was asleep to bring her grandfather. Next to him stayed two other people : two other deceased members of his family. She chatted with them in the evening, told them about her day, asked them questions, told them jokes. Playing along, they gave him advice and even laughed at his worst jokes. Once the mourning was done, they left. But his grandfather stayed there,   without ever speaking. No matter how much she insisted, asked questions, she even ended up getting angry, crying, begging in the night, he remained there, a smile on his lips, his eyes full of sadness. The little girl grew up, the grandfather stayed. It was built by trying to fill a void, right there, at the level of the heart, like a lost piece that leaves the puzzle forever unfinished.

      _cc781905- This little girl is me. I am the granddaughter of Lieutenant Jean Agnus, machine engineer of the Minerve, who disappeared off the coast of Toulon in January 1968. I will soon be 18 and I continue to try to understand. They tell me that I look like him, they tell me that I think the same way, that unfortunately for me, I have the same sense of humor. In short, that I look like a mute shadow in the night. A shadow that I cherished all my childhood, who was my confidante, but who, unlike the others, never had a voice.

      _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_  Not long ago the Argentine submarine San Juan and its dead sailors were found. But we have not found the Minerve, a French submarine. So me, years later, I continue somehow to try to mourn. But, while everyone goes to the cemetery for All Saints, I still hesitate as to the seafront to face to try to approach it.

La Minerve disappeared 50 years ago. Today, perhaps we could find out where she is. Maybe. It's an 8-year-old granddaughter who asks you, with all the families of the sailors of the Minerve : help us find her.

Please accept, Madam Minister, my respectful greetings,


Mary Agnus

Jean Agnus-2.jpeg

For Marie Agnus, hergrandfatherwas this young man pictured in the library or in the family albums. She has of course heard of it, like of Minerva, she knows her ceremonial sword, her uniform or her camera which she still keeps today on her chest of drawers, in her bedroom. And she often still wonders why she didn't have the chance to know him. It's a permanent lack that no doubt echoes mine. Like all little girls, she also feels what her daddy feels. And she expresses it here with her words, her accuracy, and her emotion.

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