Sunday, 10 January 2016
There was a tribute to the victims of the 2015 attacks in France on Sunday. It began with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque at the foot of a memorial oak planted on the Place de la République in Paris, revealed AFP journalists.
The text on the plaque unveiled by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and President Hollande reads: “In memory of the victims of the January and November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, Montrouge and Saint-Denis. The people of France pay tribute to them here.” The tribute day was under high police surveillance.
On a relatively quiet Place and in the presence of many of the victim’s families, singer Johnny Hallyday did a mini-concert which included “One Sunday in January”. Dressed all in black, he led the song, which was composed by Jeanne Cherhal. It mentions the march on the 11th of January 2015, which grouped together millions of people all over France and many foreign leaders in Paris. The choice of Johnny Hallyday for this tribute was contested by those close to the artist’s killed, who hadn’t wanted anything to do with him for years.
“The names of Paris” by Jacques Brel, was sung by the French army Choir. They sang just before the reading of a speech by Victor Hugo, which he made on the 5th of September 1870 when he returned from exile. “Saving Paris is more than saving France, it’s saving the world. Paris is the centre of humanity itself, Paris is the holy city. If you attack Paris, you attack the whole human race”, he had said.
“We need this community spirit to fight terrorism, as we are at war against jihadism,” explained Manuel Valis, on the television channel France 2. He spoke of “memory, compassion, but at the same time the strength to affirm that we are here, that we are alive”
This commemoration day ended a week of celebrations in memory of the victims of the January (17 dead) and November (130 dead) attacks in Paris and the surrounding area.