Bay Area Cities Host Vigils to Honor Paris Terror Attack Victims - NBC Bay Area
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Bay Area Cities Host Vigils to Honor Paris Terror Attack Victims

When Paris went dark, cities across the globe lit up in support.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Paris is on the minds of Bay Area residents after a series of terrorist attacks sent the iconic city reeling in despair. Christie Smith reports. (Published Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015)

    Paris is on the minds of Bay Area residents after a series of terrorist attacks sent the iconic city reeling in despair.

    A slew of cities plan to stand with the French capital by hosting vigils through the weekend.

    More than 350 people were wounded and 129 people were killed in the gun-and-suicide bombings, which took place at popular hot spots around the city.  As of Saturday, the jihadist group Islamic State had taken credit for what is now considered the deadliest assault on French soil since World War II.

    But while Paris dimmed its lights in mourning, cities across the globe lit up in a show of support.

    The façade of San Francisco City Hall was illuminated with blue, white and red lights on Friday evening, as was the One World Trade Center in New York, the famed Sydney Opera House in Sydney and the Tower Bridge in London.

    People flocked to these locations to express sympathy, with reports of numerous tributes planned around the globe.

    Back in the Bay Area, various tributes are unfolding. A musical play will take place 7 p.m. Saturday at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Menlo Park. Titled "Morts Pour La France," the operatic show will detail France's influence on American independence.

    San Francisco will also see a few memorials Saturday, with more than 750 people expected to attend a candlelight vigil at Yerba Buena Gardens at 5 p.m. Attendees will be provided with space to share their "thoughts and good wishes," according to event coordinator Aurore Tran.

    Smaller vigils are slated to begin at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday at the steps of the French Consulate at 88 Kearny St. Mementos and keepsakes have been appearing outside the otherwise nondescript office building since news broke of the mass killings. 

    Gaelle Palluel attended one of the vigils to honor the victims. 

    "I didn't believe it," Palluel said. "And then I saw that the state of emergency was declared by the president." 

    Jeremy Bogagirsky and his family, who recent moved to the Bay Area from France, visited the French Consulate for a different reason.

    "It's not that we wanted to be with French people," Bogagirsky said. "It's just that we wanted to show to the kids that people care about what's happening in Paris and that we can care too."

    San Francisco City Hall will once again be illuminated Sunday, when a 3 p.m. rally organized with the French Consulate is expected to draw hundreds. Organizers took to Facebook to ask supporters to join them in a moment of silence at 3:30 p.m.

    City officials, residents and even sports teams were also quick to express their sympathy. 

    "On behalf of the residents of San Francisco, I express my deepest sorrow for the heartbreaking tragedy unfolding in Paris today," Mayor Ed Lee said in a written statement Friday. "The victims of these senseless acts of violence will remain in our prayers."

    NBA Championship winners The Golden State Warriors will play at the Oakland-based Oracle Arena Saturday and are expected to hold a moment of silence to honor the victims of the attack, according to spokesman Massimo Degaudenzi.

    San Franciscans also opened their doors on Friday as part of the #PorteOuverte movement, which saw people worldwide flocking to social media to offer people in danger a place to stay.

    "We stand in solidarity with our friends in our sister city of Paris, Mayor Hidalgo and with people all across France as they struggle with the aftermath of this very dark day," Mayor Lee said. 

     

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