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Inauguration of the Marcel Coustal square in Saint Cuxac d'Aude

le 19 September 2020

On September 19, 2020, Place Marcel Coustal was inaugurated in the city where the sailor who disappeared aboard the Minerve had spent his youth. The local press covered the event in"The Independent"

On this occasion Martine Coustal gave the following speech:

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It is still today with great emotion that I am among you to represent Marcel, who died too soon on January 27, 1968 on the eve of his 19th birthday.

Of course, each of you present here will have known joys and sorrows during your life; for us, whatever our pain, it mingled with that of 52 families plunged into the same pain of losing at the same time a father, a son, a fiancé, all young since they were between 17 and 37 years old, and very united in this great family that is that of submariners.

The drama of the neck brace submarine has caused a lot of tears to flow, a lot of ink, questions and doubts as to the reasons for this sudden disappearance. It was only thanks to the determination of the families, with the help of the associations of submariners under the leadership of the very courageous Hervé FAUVE son of the captain, that we finally managed to find the wreckage, but for that he had to wait more than 50 years!!!

The pugnacity of all and the love of the families prevailed so that this crew does not remain in oblivion. At a time when we are able to go to the moon and even to Mars, it was inconceivable that we would not find even a part of the wreckage, in order to put an end to more 50 years of silence from the authorities and questions for all families.

So it's been almost a year to the day, it was on September 15, 2019 that we were all able together to finally gather above their wreckage, their tomb. Intense moment and how painful, but also saving for our memory; we were finally able to tell each other they were really where they disappeared, or thereabouts, and stop telling each other stories. Even if we say to ourselves with dismay, they were there at hand, and no one wanted to worry about them.

Whatever the reasons we may know one day for this shipwreck, for us families, their youth will never tarnish their professionalism, their enthusiasm and their pride in being submariners.

I must also, for me, his son Marcel, his brother Gérard here present, first of all thank his 3 school friends, Jean François Beltran, Alain Paquie, Jean Paul Rassie for having wanted to honor his memory. First through the free republic, then through their desire that his name be linked to Cuxac d'Aude, his childhood village... We also thank the Mayor for having listened to them and his municipal council for l to have materialized.

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