One year after the November 13th attacks, French people paid tribute to the memory of the 130 victims and 354 injured people on Sunday. The French President François Hollande revealed 6 commemorative plates in Saint-Denis and Paris.
The hearts were heavy this Sunday morning. From the Stade de France to the Bataclan, the ceremonies were the same. Full of tears, full of memories, full of embracement, thousands of people were united to celebrate the sad anniversary of the biggest terrorist attacks that France has known in its history. François Hollande and Anne Hidalgo (Mayor of Paris) ahead of the cortege, a peaceful walk had been organized around the Place de la République, in the 11th district of Paris. Several citizen commemorations were organized in each place directly concerned by the attacks. Minutes of silence were respected, flowers were dropped off, several balloon releases were set up next to the city hall and lanterns were lit up on the Canal Saint-Martin.
A legitimate commemoration followed by many artists included one of the members of the Eagles of Death Metal, the band who was playing at the Bataclan that very night, and was directly affected by the event. As the victims wished, the ceremony was very humble and sober, full of emotion and respect. At this occasion, the Prime Minister of France Manuel Valls avowed that “One year after, the memory of the victims is intact. The pain is huge, but united, we face it (…) The terrorists were wrong, the pain did not divide us.”
Interrogated about the state of emergency, the Prime Minister declared that mostly because of the Presidential election of 2017, the state of emergency will remain and be extended on January for several months more. A difficult situation understood by the main part of the French population.
Finally, the whole commemoration ended with a beautiful symbolic concert of Sting for the re-opening of the Bataclan. A beautiful sign of hope and bravery, saluted by every Parisian and French people.
Baptiste Régnard IEJ 3F