Toronto prays for Paris

Citizens gather to commemorate lives lost in Paris terrorist attacks

A young man holds up his own version of the peace for Paris photo that went viral on the Internet. Tara Fortune/Toronto Observer

Toronto has joined the world in praying for Paris after the terrorist attacks in France.

The CN Tower was lit in the colours of the French flag.  People also gathered at Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday afternoon to commemorate those killed and wounded in the assaults. Mayor John Tory among hundreds of other people flooded into the square holding flags, flowers, candles and heartbreak.

News of the Nov. 13 coordinated terrorist assaults began unfolding during a soccer game at Stade de France after players and fans heard explosions going off outside of the venue, the result of three suicide bombers.

Metal band Eagles of Death Metal were playing a concert at the Bataclan music hall where gunmen open fired on concertgoers. Shootings also took place in multiple restaurants, cafes and bars throughout Paris.

According to French officials, at least 129 people were killed and more than 350 people were injured. France closed their borders and cancelled multiple schools in this time of emergency. On Sunday night they proceeded with air strikes on Islamic State groups in Syria.

Piravena Shan, a Toronto-based woman born in France, said she was very concerned about her family members living there.

“It’s just a moment of panic when we don’t expect to have an attack in a country like France,” Shan said. “It’s a lot of anger and sadness at the same time. Today is really for us to show support and if we are far, that we are supporting them from wherever we are. We stay strong and we are not afraid, we have to keep our fingers crossed that the government is going to do whatever it takes to fight against them.”

Pat Simone, a woman attending the ceremony, said she does not completely understand what’s happening in the world right now.

“We’ve come so far with the EU, it opened up the whole of Europe. Now they’re all talking about closing their borders because of this, it’s a crying shame,” Simone said.

In Belgium, three people were arrested on Saturday and seven people were detained on Sunday for the attacks.

About this article

By: Tara Fortune
Posted: Nov 18 2015 11:50 am
Filed under: News