DESPITE the possibility of terrorist activity, large numbers of Parisians turned out to attend a Charlie Hebdo memorial service in the heart of Paris on December 10.
President Francois Hollande who was leading the public event at the Place de la Republique in memory of the 17 people killed in the terror attacks last January laid a wreath in the square where a 10 metre-high Oak tree was planted and a one-minute silence held.
Johnny Hallyday the 72-year-old French singing legend performed the song, ‘A Sunday in January’ which remembers the unity march in Paris following the attacks. The French army choir performed and there was a reading of a passage by Victor Hugo which referred to Paris as being the heart of civilisation.
This service was the culmination of five days of commemoration of the terrible events of one year ago which not only saw the attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo but also saw deaths in a kosher supermarket and the killing of a police woman.
President Hollande has unveiled plaques remembering those who died but there was a great deal of embarrassment when it was realised that the one unveiled at the Charlie Hebdo site had the name of one of those killed spelt incorrectly.