France marked the first anniversary of the Paris attacks, and saw the Bataclan concert hall reopened with a performance by internationally-acclaimed musician Sting.
Popular international musician Sting reopened the historical Bataclan concert hall in Paris this weekend, marking one year since the Paris attacks on November 13, 2015. The ‘Paris attacks’ refer to the coordinated attacks on Stade de France, Bataclan concert hall and restaurants and pubs in Paris on November 13, last year. Around 130 people lost their lives in these attacks, with several more injured. The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the attacks. Apart from those who lost their lives in the attacks, nine people remain hospitalised and some are paralysed. The French government has reported that more than 600 people continue receiving psychological treatment.
With heavy security arrangements organised around the Bataclan, it was set for reopening on Saturday night ever since it was shut down since the Paris attacks. Heavily-armed policemen surrounded the streets around the venue which were cordoned off and also saw the presence of a large number of media personnel.
Sting opened the show by asking those present, in French, to observe a minute’s silence in honour of the victims who lost their lives at the Bataclan last year. “We’ve got two important things to do tonight,” said Sting, explaining, “First, to remember and honour those who lost their lives in the attacks a year ago… and to celebrate the life and the music of this historic venue… We shall not forget them.”
Sting stated that proceeds from the concert would go to two charities helping more than 1,700 people who have been officially recognised as victims of the attacks from last year. France had declared a state of emergency after these attacks, and it is still in force.
In a ceremony at Stade de France, where the French President Francois Hollande unveiled a plaque stating, “in memory of Manuel Dias”, Manuel Dias’ son pressed on the need for peace. Manuel Dias was among those killed in the attacks. “It is by knowledge, by intelligence that the children of tomorrow can stop humiliating themselves as cannon fodder in the service of criminal, mafia-style interests, as is the case today,” Dias said, adding “(They are) incapable of reflection, thinking about the world and expressing the unease and social exclusion they feel.” Hollande and Anne Hidalgo, the Paris mayor, also carried on unveiling plaques at restaurants and bars in the area where the Paris attacks had taken place.
Expressing grief globally
The Paris attacks had sent shockwaves across the world including India, and many eminent personalities and political figures had stood up to condemn these attacks and publicly grieved the resultant loss of lives and injuries.
This year, people from across the globe in remembrance shared their condolences over social media. The European Commission shared a picture as a tribute to the victims of the attack.
— European Commission (@EU_Commission) November 13, 2016
The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his sentiments through Twitter on the attacks that shook the world.
Glad to see the Bataclan reopened on the first anniversary of the Paris attacks. Then as now, Canadians stand with the people of France.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 13, 2016
Indian citizens spoke on the attack and the need for solidarity in moving forward and addressing the challenges of global terrorism ahead.
Reading express tday / one year after #ParisAttacks, pain, suffering /need to join together to bring about stability/ people well being imp
— Chaitanya Prasad (@Chatty111Prasad) November 14, 2016