PARIS – “France will destroy this army of fanatics,’’ said French President Francois Hollande on Friday, speaking at the state memorial service for the 130 victims of November 13 attacks.
Hollande vowed that his county will not give in, neither to fear nor to hatred, and will continue to defend democracy and the republican values. He also called on the young generation not to abandon the French way of life.
“We will multiply the number of concerts, of shows. We will continue to go to the football stadium. What are the terrorists looking for? To divide us? They will fail. They have the cult of death. We cherish life.’’ Some two thousand people, most of them families of the victims and those injured at the attacks, attended the ceremony at the Court of Honor of les Invalides, where Napoleon is buried. Leaders across the political spectrum, including former presidents and representatives of the different religious communities, were also present. French-Israeli singer Yael Naim, together with two other singers, sang “Quand On N’a Que L’amour’’ (when all we have is love) by the chansonnier Jacques Brel; a song chosen to reflect the president’s wish of avoiding any nationalistic, political or religious connotations.
Many schools dedicated this hour to discuss the November 13 events.