Mon, Nov 16, 2015 - Page 6 News List

PARIS ATTACKS: World sings and lights up in solidarity

PEACE FOR PARIS:While the Sydney Opera House and the One World Trade Center were specially lit up, the Eiffel Tower remained mostly dark in the City of Lights


Most of the lights on the Eiffel Tower on Saturday remain off following the attacks in Paris.

Photo: AFP

Stirring renditions of La Marseillaise rang out on Saturday from Dublin to New York as global landmarks were bathed in the French colors and thousands marched in solidarity with Paris after attacks that left at least 129 dead.

Monuments from the Sydney Opera House in Australia to the One World Trade Center in New York were adorned with France’s red, white and blue, while the “Peace for Paris” symbol combining the city’s iconic Eiffel Tower with the peace sign of the 1960s went viral online.

New York’s Metropolitan Opera led by star tenor Placido Domingo mourned the people killed in of France’s worst-ever such attacks with an unscheduled performance of the distinctive French national anthem.

Outside, about 2,000 people gathered in Manhattan to sing their own version in Washington Park Square, while in the US capital, French expatriates came together in Lafayette Square, named after a famous Frenchman from the US War of Independence, to mourn.

“France is not a race, France is not a religion, France is not an ethnic group, France is a will to live together,” French Ambassador Gerard Araud told the crowd.

Singer Madonna paid a tearful tribute onstage by singing the classic French song La vie en rose, accompanied only by a guitar, during a concert in Stockholm.

Many of the 6,000 participants in a march in the Irish capital were draped in the French blue, white and red flag, while others also sang the national anthem.

London paid homage to those killed as about 2,000 people gathered at an evening vigil in the British capital’s Trafalgar Square, where fountains and the grand portico of the National Gallery opposite were lit to resemble the Tricolor.

Across the French capital, Parisians placed lit candles in their windows in memory of the dead, but the Eiffel Tower, the symbol of the City of Light, was shrouded in darkness and would remain closed “until further notice,” a spokeswoman told reporters.

Bouquets, candles and messages of condolence were laid at French embassies worldwide.

“Montrealers, we are all Parisians,” said Anie Samson, who led about 1,000 people at the consulate in French-speaking Montreal in Canada.

A Twitter campaign has begun encouraging notoriously tribal England soccer fans to join with French traveling supporters in singing La Marsellaise before the start of tomorrow’s friendly between the two countries.

The EU called for a minute’s silence to be held today for those killed in the attacks.

US President Barack Obama, citing France’s national motto, said “we are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberte, egalite, fraternite, are not only values French people care so deeply about, but they are values that we share.”

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II said she and her husband, Prince Philip, were “deeply shocked,” while British Prime Minister David Cameron offered the nation’s help.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the attacks “anguishing and dreadful,” while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned them as “crimes against humanity.”

“The Paris tragedy requires of us all to unite in the fight against extremism,” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

The outpouring of solidarity generated massive amounts of activity on social media, with the hashtags #prayforparis and #jesuisparis going viral.

A “Peace for Paris” symbol, combining the city’s Eiffel Tower with the peace sign, has gone viral on the Internet.

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