France has paid tribute to the 130 people killed in the terrorist attacks in Paris, exactly two weeks ago today.
Despite the tragedy, despite the blood spilled, France has kept its principles of hope and tolerance intact
At a solemn ceremony at the city’s Les Invalides monument, victims’ families joined survivors, emergency service workers, religious leaders and politicians for a national memorial service at which the names of those massacred by Islamist gunmen and suicide bombers were read out.
President Francois Hollande told the more than 2,000 people present: “We will not give in to either fear or hatred.”
And in response to the extremists who targeted people sitting at cafes, attending a rock concert and a football match, he pledged there would be more songs, concerts and shows, and vowed that the French people would keep going to sports stadiums.
Hollande pointed out that most of those killed were aged under 35 and said that their generation had now become “the face of France” in which he had full confidence.
The victims of the Paris attacks included an architect, a student, and music fans. Here are some of their stories. https://t.co/wJKRqDNo17— The New York Times (@nytimes) 24 Novembre 2015
A minute’s silence was held in honour of those killed. The French national anthem – La Marseillaise – was sung and other music performed included Jacques Brel’s “Quand on n’a que l’amour”.
ISIL said it was behind the November 13 attacks. Hollande vowed that everything would be done to destroy what he called “the army of fanatics” but insisted that France would not change.
“The patriotism that we see expressed today with these flags proudly displayed, these spontaneous gatherings, these crowds singing the Marseillaise…Yes, that has nothing to do with any kind of instinct for revenge or any sort of rejection of others,” he said.
“Because, despite the tragedy, despite the blood spilled, France has kept its principles of hope and tolerance intact.”