Tuesday, November 17, 2015

World Expresses Sympathy and Support For France in Wake of Paris Attack

The world is showing sympathy for the Paris attacks, and as a French citizen myself (in reality, not in some symbolic, temporary sense to show outward sympathy for the victims), it makes me feel good, feel better about things right now. Obviously, the horrific tragedies were depressing and demoralizing, but the response around the world has been simply amazing!

I have seen pictures of sites around the world lit up in the blue, white, and red colors of the French flag. The Sydney Opera House in Australia, as well as Sydney's Town Hall and St. Mary's Cathedral. The Auckland Museum in Auckland, New Zealand. The Pyramids of Egypt. Moreover, there was one point where the Egyptian and French flags shared space on the pyramids, with the words “La Solidarité avec la France” on display in between. La Tour Hassan in Rabat, Morocco. The Burj Al-Khalifa and Burj Al-Arab Hotel, both in Dubai. The Kuwait Towers in Kuwait City, Kuwait. A building in Riyahd, Saudi Arabia. The Wailing Wall and the Knesset in Jerusalem, Israel. A municipality building in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Kuala Lumpur Tower in Malaysia. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the main railway terminal in Mumbai, India. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Shanghai, China. Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan. The Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree in Tokyo, Japan.

In Europe, a concert hall in Denmark. The Parthenon in Athens, numerous buildings and a bridge in Tblisisi, Georgia, a statue in Belgrade, Serbia. Sarajevo Town Hall, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Archaeological Museum Skopje and the Macedonian Foreign Ministry Building, Macedonia. The Three Crosses Monument in Vilnius, Lithuania. A government building in Talinn, Estonia. Bratislava Castle in Bratislava, Slovakia. The Palace of Culture & Science Tower and the sail tower (not sure if this is the real name of it) in Warsaw, Poland. Madrid's Town Hall in Madrid, Spain. The Belém Tower in Lisbon, Portugal. The Jet d'Eau Fountain, Geneva. The Kaknastornet TV Signal Tower and Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. The Arctic Cathedral in Tromso, Norway. The town hall in Brussels, Belgium. St. George's Hall, Tower Bridge, the London Eye Ferris Wheel, the National Gallery, and Wembley Stadium in London. There was even a public gathering at Trafalgar Square to show solidarity with the French. The Brandenberg Gate in Berlin.

In the United States, the Capitol Building in Washington. The Empire State Building, One World Trade Center (which replaced the fallen Twin Towers in New York City), and Washington Square Arch in New York City. San Francisco's Town Hall. The Space Needle in Seattle, Washington. Many more (probably too numerous to list) throughout the United States. In New York City, the Empire State Building went one better, going dark at 10pm on the night of the massacre to show sympathy for the victims of the slaughter in Paris.

In Canada, there were several vigils as expressions of support throughout Canada, including in Montreal, where thousands of people attended. The French flag was flying at Ottawa's City Hall, the nation's capital. Niagara Falls and the CN Tower were lit up in the French tricouleur, as was the Toronto sign in Nathan Philip Square, Canada Place in Vancouver and the Calgary Tower in Calgary, Alberta.

The Mexican Senate building and the Angel of Independence monument in Mexico City, Mexico were both decked out in the French blue, white, and red.

Christ the Redeemer in Brazil was decked out in blue, white, and red. So was the Palacio do Planalto in Brasilia, Brazil. The Bandeiras Monument in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Kirchner Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Colpatria Tower in Bogota, Colombia.

There was even one international monument, the Peace Bridge between Canada and the United States (connecting to Buffalo) was sporting the French tricouleur.

Think about that. The centuries of war with Britain, and in London, Britain's capital, there is a show of solidarity. Bitter war over the centuries with Germany, yet the most iconic symbol of Germany, the Brandenberg Gate, in the heart of Germany's capital, Berlin, decked out in blue, white, and red. Think about the rabid anti-French sentiment and French bashing that was transpiring in the United States around a decade or so ago, and now witness all of the visible signs to show support and solidarity with France. Football players at West Point coming out onto the field carrying the French flag, as did a member of the Baltimore Ravens for a game this past Sunday. There was a moment of silence before every NFL game this weekend to honor the victims of the Paris attacks. In Washington, the Capitals had the French flag on display during the national anthem, and expressed solidarity and support.

Obviously, a lot of people feel horrible after the absurd attacks by extremists in Paris, and the senseless slaughter of innocents. However, it is nice to see the entire world, seemingly, express such visible support and solidarity. As a French citizen myself, I, for one, am feeling the love. It is a hopeful sign after such a desperate act, and shows that love is indeed stronger than hate, a refreshing bit of good news in a sea of bad news.

Here are some of the links, if you would like to see some of the many pictures offered:

Paris attack: A tricolour salute from a heartbroken world by CARLEEN FROST and LEIGH VAN DEN BROEKE of The Daily Telegraph, November 15, 2015:

Monuments Around the World Light Up for Paris by Alan Taylor, November 15, 2015:

After Paris massacre, the world turns blue, white and red for France by Rachel Anna Rodriguez of CNN, November 14, 2015:

This is how other cities marked the Paris attacks By CityMetric staff, November 16, 2015:

Landmarks around the world light up in solidarity with Paris posted by CTV News,

Expressions of solidarity for France in red, white and blue by Danica Kirka, November 14, 2015:

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