It’s one year since terror attacks in Paris took 130 lives. This weekend the country memorializes the dead, and makes plans for a changed country.
CCTV’s Kate Parkinson has more from Paris.
Paris remembers, one year after terror attackIt's one year since terror attacks in Paris took 130 lives. This weekend the country memorializes the dead, and makes plans for a changed country.
A series of sombre ceremonies were held in Paris on Sunday to mark the one year anniversary since gunmen and suicide bombers from the ISIL terror group killed in coordinated attacks across the city.
French President Francois Hollande first visited the Stade de France national stadium where last Novembers night of horror started when three suicide bombers blew themselves up there.
He then followed the path the terrorists took, visiting the six bars and restaurants in the trendy neighborhood of Paris where gunmen sprayed bullets at people enjoying their Friday evening.
At each location plaques were unveiled inscribed with the names of the victims, the names were then read aloud and a moments silence was observed.
The final commemoration ceremony took place at the Bataclan concert hall, where 90 people were killed.
It’s been an extremely sombre and muted day or commemoration. There were no speeches. The government clearly keen not to turn this into a political event. Today has been about remembering the victims and honoring their families and those who survived the attacks.
Victim support groups say people will need help for many years to come.
“France must be able to take care of them, psychologically, physically, socially.. regarding social integrations for those cant work anymore or who have had to change jobs and also to protect children of those who were injured or killed,” said representative for terrorism victims Francoise Rudetzki.
On Saturday night the Bataclan opened its doors for the first time since last year’s attacks.
The show by musician Sting was a hugely symbolic and emotional show.
“Tonight, we have two tasks, two important tasks to do, first to remember and honor those who lost their lives and the attack one year ago. And then to celebrate the life, the music that this room of enormous historic importance represents,” Sting said at the concert.
Scores of survivors attended the concert, others were there to pay tribute to those who died there.
Elodie Suigo lost six friends at the Bataclan last year.
“It was difficult going through that door. I don’t think I was the only one. Everyone was looking at each other thinking: ‘what do we do here, we are lucky to be here so let’s get in.’ We think about those who are not there anymore and we think about this place, how it was a year ago,” Suigo said.
This weekend France has honored those who died but it does so under what the French Prime Minister describes as a “heavy and constant threat” of more terror attacks hanging over France.
Remembering Nohemi Gonzalez, only American killed in Paris attacks
One year after terrorists struck Paris, people around the world are remembering the many who lost their lives that night in the City of Light.
Nohemi Gonzalez, a college student studying in France, was the only American killed in the attacks. On this solemn anniversary, her mother reflects on her daughter and a life she continues to celebrate.
CCTV America’s Patrice Howard reports from Los Angeles.
Remembering Nohemi Gonzalez, only American killed in Paris attacksOne year after terrorists struck Paris, people around the world are remembering the many who lost their lives that night in the City of Light. Nohemi Gonzalez, a college student studying in France, was the only American killed in the attacks. On this solemn anniversary, her mother reflects on her daughter and a life she continues to celebrate.
Pictures of Nohemi cover the walls of her mother’s barbershop – the shop Beatriz Gonzalez comes to everyday with a heavy heart, the business she started, to provide a better life for her only daughter, never dreaming that one day her beloved “Mimi” would be gone.
“Beautiful inside and outside, she has this angel, she always want to help people and and I just feel sad that her life was short 23 years, but I thank God because she lived more than than many people that had a long life,” Gonzalez said.
Last November, Nohemi was living life to the fullest: studying abroad in Paris, an industrial design student from California, exploring the world.
Nohemi was sitting at a Parisian bistro with friends when terrorists opened fire. She was one of 130 people, the only American, killed in the attacks that night.
Beatriz was at work when she learned the light of her life was gone.
“I couldn’t believe it – I was hoping in my heart that I wanted it to be a mistake that something was like wrong or not true but it was true,” Gonzalez said.
The hopes and dreams Beatriz had for her first generation Mexican-American daughter were shattered. Mimi was one of many young people whose lives were cut short that night in Paris.
European countries like France host more than half of all Americans studying abroad. The Paris terror attacks prompted Universities here in California and across the U.S. to re-assess their study abroad programs for safety’s sake.
One year after the attacks, Beatrice says she and Paris are healing together – and that her daughter’s adventure in the European city brought great joy to her life.
“A lot of times I imagine her riding her bike in Paris, and I see her alive in my heart. The anniversary means for me in my heart she is still here because of all the kindness and the goodness and the happiness that she gave to the world,” she said.