The Empire State building paid tribute to those that lost their lives in the terrorist attacks at Charlie Hedbo by lighting up in the colors of the French flag – red, white, and blue. The building in New York illuminated the sky and dimmed for five minutes of silence in memory of those that were killed.
— Empire State Bldg (@EmpireStateBldg) January 11, 2015
The USA Today reported that more than 3.7 million people marched in France on Sunday to create the largest demonstration in the history of the nation. Just days ago, 17 people and three Islamic extremist gunmen were killed in a three-day span in France.
According to the BBC, more than 40 world leaders joined in at the start of the march in Paris to honor those lost at Charlie Hedbo. The march was to bring together unity and the French government was happy with the turnout and togetherness.
The rally was led by the relatives of the victims from last week’s attacks, and it began at the Place de la Republique. It went on for quite some distance and concluded in the Place de la Nation.
Numerous rallies also happened outside of France as well with gatherings happening in Washington, Berlin, London, and Montreal. French leader Francois Hollande was thrilled to see the unity and the leaders of the world band together.
“Paris is the capital of the world today.”
In the wake of the Charlie Hedbo tragedy, the rally in France needed to have a lot of protection and security. Around 2,000 police officers and 1,350 soliders (along with elite marksmen) were deployed to offer their protection.
At the beginning of the march in France, world leaders involved included British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, EU President Donald Tusk, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
Right before everything got underway, there was a minute of silence observed to honor the victims even further.
With the Charlie Hedbo tragedy last week, there are feelings of fear and sadness all around the world. As the rallies are held and the Empire State Building flies the colors of the French flag, there are also feelings of unity and safety when people come together for one another.
[Image via Kevin McCoy – USA Today/Reuters]