Memorials to the Victims of The Paris Terror Attacks

I can’t put into words the sorrow I feel when I think of the attacks. I was living in what I can only describe as a disassociated state that weekend. I felt as if I had been removed from my life and placed in a surreal world. Each time I opened the news, I feared what I might read. The attacks were the deadliest France had seen since World War II. I prayed there would be no more cases of violence.

The following night after the attacks, the Eiffel Tower went dark. I had never seen the tower dark at night before. Looking out my balcony, I saw only a dark silhouette of what once lit up the skyline.

I didn’t use social media at all for a few days following the attacks. Somehow it felt silly to post photos of my latte when there were families who were dealing with the shock of losing a loved one to terrorism. Death is never easy to deal with, but I imagine that unexpected death at the hands of a terrorist is the worst kind of emotional pain to experience.

Nevertheless, I felt compelled to visit the memorials to the victims. I took the train towards the neighborhood of the attacks on the afternoon of Sunday November 15, but the metro station nearby was closed. So I exited one stop early at Place de la République.

Unknowingly, I had entered into a crowd of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Place de la République, also a grieving site following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, now served as a commonplace for the French people to mourn following the attacks.

Around the central statue of Marianne, a woman embodying freedom, visitors left notes, candles, flowers and drawings. Some cried, some were silent, and others were very vocal. Armed guards were present almost everywhere I went. At one point, the crowd began to sing La Marseillaise, the French national anthem.

When I did begin to use Instagram again, I contributed to the hashtag #parisisaboutlife which became a popular way to stand up against terrorism. I loved the idea of celebrating the beauty of life in Paris and not letting the terrorists “win” at their disgusting game.

Place de la République Marianne

Paris Terror Attack Memorials

Paris Terror Attack Memorials

Paris Terror Attack Memorials

Paris Terror Attack Memorials

Paris Terror Attack Memorials

Paris Terror Attack Memorials

Paris Terror Attack Memorials

November 18, 2015
I’m an American photographer and writer based in Paris after living in New York for 7 years and then and spending a year and a half traveling. My work has been featured by the Paris and Nice Tourism Offices, Art Basel, and Refinery 29. Culture Passport is a place to share my travels and experiences in new places, with a focus on cultural attractions.

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