Paris was struck with an immense tragedy Friday night after a group of terrorists killed 129 people and wounded over 300 more. The assailants coordinated six different attacks around the capital, targeting concert-goers, soccer fans and cafe diners.
The attacks began at the Stade de France during a soccer match between the German and French national teams. The French President, François Hollande, was immediately evacuated from the stadium following the initial explosion outside the sports stadium.
In addition, a mass shooting broke out at the Bataclan, a French concert hall. Over 100 hostages were taken and later killed by the attackers.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has since claimed responsibility for the heartbreaking atrocities in Paris. In response, Hollande has closed French borders and declared three days of national mourning.
Numerous cities across the world have shown their support for those who have lost their lives and continue to stand in solidarity with the French people.
More than 70 New Yorkers gathered in Union Square last night for a vigil commemorating those who have lost their lives.
A vigil in Union Square, NYC #Paris #PrayersForParis @nyunews pic.twitter.com/t3ZaHj9htf
— Alex Bazeley (@a_bazeley) November 14, 2015
GSAS student Louis Rollet attended the vigil after discovering it via Facebook. Rollet said the attacks will have major domestic and international political consequences, but he is thankful for the safety of his friends and his family members in Paris.
“A friend of mine who lives like one block away from the first attack called me right away when it happened,” Rollet said. “Everybody’s safe on my part, all of my family and friends. I’m happy for that.”
New Yorkers continued to show their support Saturday afternoon during a rally in Washington Square Park. People from all over the city gathered, framed by the arch and the freedom tower, while Parisians sang the national anthem. French flags and Eiffel Tower peace signs waved in the crowd.
New Yorkers gather in Washington Square Park to #PrayForParis. @nyunews pic.twitter.com/VjRylxCWcj
— Alexis Faunce (@Alexis_Faunce) November 14, 2015
Supporters huddled around two posters taped to the ground, leaving emotional notes in various languages and messages such as, “They will not win!”
A young boy walked around wide-eyed, one hand clinging to his mom with the other holding a drawing of the Eiffel Tower. A man with “Republique Francaise” on his crewneck stood over the posters with anguish visible on his face.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged the crowd to stay strong during this moment of sorrow. De Blasio also said NYPD presence will increase in the city’s busiest areas during the following days.
“We should continue our lives as normal and we will not be intimidated by terrorists,” de Blasio said.
Additional reporting by Anne Cruz.
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