Kerry pays respect to Paris terrorism victims

Islamic Extremism

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius look at the messages at the site of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry paid respect in both English and French on Friday to the victims of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris in a show of American solidarity with the French people.

At a ceremony at the Hotel de Ville, the city hall of Paris, Kerry called the attacks a “living nightmare” but one that would unite rather than divide the people of France and the world.

Kerry pays respect to Paris terrorism victims

Kerry pays respect to Paris terrorism victims

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry paid respect in both English and French on Friday to the victims of last week's terrorist attacks in Paris in a show of American solidarity with the French people.

“I really wanted to come here and share a hug with all of Paris and all friends,” he told the crowd that included survivors, family members of victims, and members of the police and municipal government who responded to the attacks, including the Muslim man who risked his life to hide Jewish patrons from the gunman who stormed a kosher supermarket.

Kerry expressed America’s solidarity with the French people and congratulated French President Francois Hollande for his government’s handling of last week’s deadly attacks.

“The American people watched you, and your team, and indeed all the government lead with great elegance and grace through this week, in these difficult times. And we watched the people of France stand together with a great sense of potency, unity. It was a great lesson to the world and once again France proved its commitment to freedom, to passion of ideas and has made an important statement to the world. So our hearts are with you and it’s a pleasure to be here,” Kerry said.

Kerry then paid his respects to the victims of last week’s attacks laying wreaths to honor the dead at the office of Charlie Hebdo, where 12 people were killed, and at the kosher supermarket where 4 people were killed.

The secretary’s visit to Paris came amid lingering criticism in the United States of President Barack Obama administration’s failure to send a Cabinet-level official to Paris for last Sunday’s unity march that attracted more than 40 world leaders and more than a million demonstrators.

Kerry did not address the matter but stressed the close bonds between the U.S. and France. He even arranged for American musician James Taylor to sing his version of the 1970s hit “You’ve got a friend” at the Paris City Hall.

Report complied with information from CCTV America and AP reports.