Paris – a memorial plaque is seen next to La Belle Equipe restaurant. A year ago the Islamic State group brought its extremist war to Paris, seeding terror with attacks on a rock concert, the national stadium and bustling sidewalk cafes.
French President Francois Hollande opened a national day of commemoration one year after the terror attacks hit Paris. Commemorations were held on Sunday in the city at the places of the attacks which killed 130 people.
The commemorations started in front of the door of the Stade de France in the presence of Hollande, mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and mayor of Saint-Denis Didier Paillard.
The commemorations later went on to the cafes and restaurants Le Carillon, Le Petit Cambodge, La Bonne Biere, Comptoir Voltaire and la Belle Equipe, and ended in front of the Bataclan performance hall where 90 people lost their lives.
The commemoration in Bataclan started at 11 a.m. local time. Plaques written “Floating but not sinking, Paris remembers” were observed and people paying tribute to the victims gathered around in deep grief.
This weekend, several tributes have already taken place. A minute of silence was observed Friday at the Stade de France before the kick-off of the football game between France and Sweden, and the concert hall of Bataclan reopened its door Saturday with a concert of artist Sting.
The city of Paris has been preparing for several months to organize the commemoration of the attacks of Nov. 13, 2015, in close collaboration with the associations and the victims’ families.
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo said on the occasion of the commemoration that Paris is a city that holds all the promises of its motto — “crossing without ever sinking in the storms of history”.
For the rest of the memorial day, Life for Paris association is planning concerts, round-table on resilience and exhibition of memorial messages and drawings left in attacks’ sites.
The association, made up of 650 of the attacks’ victims and their families, organized also a gathering outside Paris city hall where dozens of colored balloons are launched to represent all the victims.