Paris Remembers Victims on First Anniversary of Attacks

Thousands gather to hear the reading of the names of the those who were killed on Nov. 13 last year

French Republican Guards stand next to a commemorative plaque at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on Sunday. France has been on the receiving end of a spate of terror attacks that are as ferocious as they are frequent.
French Republican Guards stand next to a commemorative plaque at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on Sunday. France has been on the receiving end of a spate of terror attacks that are as ferocious as they are frequent. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
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Updated Nov. 13, 2016 9:23 a.m. ET

PARIS—France on Sunday marked the first anniversary of the terror attacks that claimed the lives of 130 people last November, as French President François Hollande joined the families and victims at all six of the venues targeted by Islamic State.

Thousands of people gathered across the French capital to hear the reading of the names of the those who were killed when a group of terrorists ripped through the city on Nov. 13 last year.

“The suffering is palpable today,” said Caroline Langlade, who survived the attack on the Bataclan last year. “It is very hard. We know the faces and the stories behind all of the names.”

Mr. Hollande and Mayor of Paris Anne Hildalgo laid wreaths and unveiled plaques under an overcast sky. A minute’s silence was observed at each of the locations.

The attacks have wounded the national psyche and ignited a debate over how the country can remain a beacon for civil liberties while tightening its security dragnet.

With less than eight months until the French presidential elections, Mr. Hollande did not speak at the ceremonies, respecting the wishes of victims who were concerned the commemorations could become politicized.

Mr. Hollande’s rivals have accused him and his left-wing government of not doing enough to stop the attacks. Some conservative politicians have called for exceptional changes to French law to ban Islamist symbols and to detain people deemed radical without a court order.

Mr. Hollande has rejected those calls, saying France would defeat its enemies while defending civil liberties.

Only one person spoke at the ceremonies: the son of chauffeur and avid soccer fanManuel Dias who was the only person who died at the Stade de France when a suicide bomber blew himself up. Michael Dias issued a rallying cry for France to unite in the fight against Islamic terrorism.

“We must combat stigmatization and division. Integration is the answer,” he said.

From the massacre in the newsroom at Charlie Hebdo to the attack in Nice that killed 86 people, France has been on the receiving end of a spate of terror attacks that are as ferocious as they are frequent.

The Nov. 13 attack led France to declare a state of emergency and erect a peacetime security apparatus on the fly. Soldiers now patrol the streets of Paris, bag checks are conducted in front of cinemas and grocery stores and border controls have been reinstated.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told the BBC on Sunday that the state of emergency “would likely be extended by a few months” in January when it is due to expire.

Events have been taking place across France this weekend to mark the anniversary of the attacks.

On Saturday, a concert by British musician Sting at the Bataclan at once honored those who died in the attack a year ago and celebrated the theater’s revival. A minute’s silence was also observed at the soccer match between France and Sweden at the national stadium.

Some victims are giving a more personal homage to their departed loved ones. Band members of Captain Americano, whose frontman Luis Felipe Zschoche was killed during the attack on the Bataclan, will take to the stage at the Bus Palladium in the north of Paris for a tribute concert on Sunday.

Gregory Reibenberg, the owner of La Belle Equipe where a dinner party of his closest family and friends was wiped out by terrorist gunfire, is staying away from the commemorations and instead lunching with 10 of his closest family and friends.

“Other than making me cry the commemorations aren’t going to do a lot for me,” he said. “I prefer to cry on my own at home. When I’m with others I’d rather share laughs.”

Write to Nick Kostov at Nick.Kostov@wsj.com

http://www.wsj.com/articles/paris-attack-victims-remembered-on-first-anniversary-1479042734

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One Response to “Paris Remembers Victims on First Anniversary of Attacks”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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