Hundreds of people gathered at Lafayette Square in front of the White House this evening to show support for the victims of yesterday’s deadly terror attacks in Paris.
Gérard Araud, French ambassador to the U.S., delivered a brief speech during the vigil. He started his speech by thanking President Obama for his support.
“I want to pay a special tribute to President Obama, who has expressed in a very moving way the support and the solidarity of the United States of America to France,” Araud said.
Araud then spoke about the victims of last night’s vicious attacks.
“Think of all these lives which have been destroyed, all these people who were in a concert, who were in a restaurant, in a bar, and suddenly, after these senseless outbursts of violence, everything was over,” he said.
“Let’s think of all our dead, let’s think also of their parents, their relatives, their spouses, their friends, who are now carrying the burden of the grief, the burden of the mourning,” continued the ambassador.
Araud also addressed the crowd in French.
“My dear compatriots, France is once again at war,” Araud said, in French. “We have lived through a lot of of ordeals in our long history, we will overcome this one once more.”
“They want to divide us, they want to turn the French people against each other, you know it,” the ambassador said. “France is not a race, France is not a religion, France is not an ethnicity, France is a will to live together. And it’s this will to live together that we have to defend today.”
The supporters — some chanting “Vive La France” and waving the French flag — then took a moment of silence, followed by the singing of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem.
Once the ambassador left, many climbed the small hill around the statue of the Marquis de Lafayette and began to sing the La Marseillaise again, this time quietly.
Hundreds at Lafayette Square across from the White House for tonight's Paris rally pic.twitter.com/52ZAoKZxyQ
— Tim Regan (@MrTimRegan) November 14, 2015
Manon Cano, the reporter’s wife, translated Araud’s speech for Borderstan