Charlie Hebdo vigil in Chicago: remarks by Consul General of France
Remarks by Consul General of France Vincent Floreani on the occasion of the gathering organized at the Alliance Française de Chicago in support of the victims of the attack against the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
(January 7, 2014)
We are together tonight to pay our respects to the people slain today in Paris. Twelve innocent people killed. Ten journalists, courageous, talented, who were defending freedom of press, freedom of press which is the core of our democracies. Two police officers implementing the rule of law and who were protecting the magazine, Charlie Hebdo. I would kindly request you to stand up and to observe a minute of silence in memory of these people.
We must remain united. The terrorists want us to be divided, but we should not make any confusion between a small group of terrorists and a whole religion, which is a religion of peace. I would like to express my gratitude, the gratitude of the French government and the French people to our American friends. We received many messages of solidarity through the day, including words of support from President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator Dick Durbin, both of whom expressed their solidarity in French, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
I would like to quote Mayor Emanuel’s letter which says, “My heart goes out to the families of the victims. I cannot begin to imagine the pain that the families are experiencing during this time of grief and tragedy. Please note that our thoughts and prayers are with you and the French Republic.”
This attack was not only an attack against France, but also an attack against the values we share with our American friends and with so many countries throughout the world.
The terrorists wanted France to be on its knees, but we are standing up together here tonight to support our values. Tens of thousands of people were marching through the main cities of France to support our values. It was the same in many European cities and also in many U.S. cities. We are determined to arrest and bring the perpetrators to justice. We are determined to continue the combat against terrorist groups. We know we have your support.