Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Solemn Visit

One thing we felt we had to do during our stay in Paris was to pay a visit to the site of the latest, horrific terrorist attack. This was at the Bat-a-Clan concert venue on a night in November. The attack at the club was one of several around Paris that killed more than 100 people. It was just one of many attacks that have taken place in the U.S., Europe, and France in particular.

The club is closed now but plans to reopen for concerts before the end of 2016. Seeing it in real life brought back the memories of the frightening videos of people trying to escape the carnage.

I assume there were lots of memorials around the club itself but they have been moved across the street. There was a make-shift memorial at a small public park. Judy and our friend Jo put together a bouquet of roses and laid them along the fence with the other flowers, candles and photos. Pretty moving.

The main memorial is still at La Place de la Republic. The names of many if not all the victims are on typed pieces of paper with many of their photos. Along with the names, there are lots of signs promoting peace and tolerance as well as a few anti-government and anti-oil industry signs.

Of course, the Place is still a vibrant public area with tons of skate-boarders practicing their moves, a rapper drawing an energetic audience with her political rap, along with families out for a stroll. One young man approached me and started talking. I immediately suspected it was a decoy for a pick pocket but no one else was around me. I felt for sure it was some sort of scam but he just kept talking. He said he was 33 years old, didn't know much about politics, but knew a little bit, had his own view of things but didn't mind if people had other views, said, if you want to join the military, then that was fine by him and Yadda, Yadda, Yadda he just walked away. I was still wondering what had just happened as he disappeared into the crowd. Oh well.

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