France commemorates victims of Paris attacks

Thousands of people participate in commemoration ceremony in Paris two weeks after deadly carnage

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

French President Francois Hollande stands in front of members of the French government, officials and guests during a ceremony to pay a national homage to the victims of the Paris attacks at Les Invalides monument in Paris, France, November 27, 2015

France paid homage to the 130 victims of the deadly Paris attacks in a national memorial service with the attendance of thousands of people on Friday.

France’s President Francois Hollande was also there alongside the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks, he said that "France will do everything to destroy the army of fanatics that committed these crimes."

"It will operate relentlessly to protect its children," he added.

He also added that France will respond with more music, concerts and sporting events, referring to the bloody attacks which targeted a concert venue and a stadium.

Hollande's words came after the crowd sang iconic singer Jacques Brel's song altogether which is named "When all we have is love," at the beginning of the commemoration.

Prime ministers, members of Parliament, military officials, former French presidents and as well as the leaders of different political parties stood in the ceremony alongside 2000 people.

All the victims' families did not respond to the invitation to attend the service.

A minute's silence was held and the names of all the victims were read out during the ceremony at the grand Les Invalides complex which consists of historic houses, a military museum and Napoleon's tomb.

When the list was read aloud name by name, it was made known that most of the victims were only in their twenties and thirties. The service was a heartbreaking and emotional one for the attendees.   

During his speech, Hollande paid tribute to the "130 smiles and faces" of the victims.

French citizens hung their national flags from balconies and windows along the streets of Paris. Although they could not attend the service they showed their unity against the deadly attacks.  

TRTWorld and agencies