France marked the one-year anniversary of the Paris terrorist attacks Sunday with a series of ceremonies across the capital, even as the country’s prime minister told the BBC that a year-long state of emergency will likely be extended.
The day was gray and rainy when crowds gathered day to remember the 130 dead and more than 400 injured in last year's attacks. French President Francois Hollande stood in front of the Bataclan concert hall with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, as the names of the 90 people killed there by Islamist extremists were read out. It was a scene repeated at each of the six sites targeted by the assailants.
Crowds gathered at each spot throughout the afternoon. Some people had tears in their eyes. Many placed flowers and candles in front of the newly unveiled plaques that bore the victims' names.
One resident, Gilles, was at the Bataclan with a friend from Belgium. He believes the mourning has brought the French closer together.
Parisian Marie Gillard Chevallier thinks France is a more fearful nation. She described how friends ran to hide recently when some firecrackers went off. They thought it was gunfire.
There have been bright spots during the anniversary, including hundreds of balloons released over the city. And music has returned to the Bataclan, which reopened Saturday night with a sold-out Sting concert.
Late Sunday, Parisians placed candles at their windows and lanterns on the Canal Saint Martin, not far from a bar and restaurant where jihadists shot dead 15 people. “For Didine and the others,” read one message on a latern. “We will be with you always.”