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The Danish people remember the victims of Paris

November 18, 2015
Thousands of people in Copenhagen remembered victims of the Paris terror attack. Photo: Annette Birch.

Thousands of Danes remember victims of the Paris terror attack. Photo: Annette Birch.

by Annette Birch

Published in The Capital Post on Nov. 18, 2015,

A sea of flaming lights illuminated the night as thousands of people with torches in hand gathered to remember the more than 129 civilians killed and 350 wounded in the terrorist attack in Paris on Nov. 13. The ceremony was arranged by youth organizations from all political parties and held near the French Embassy in Central Copenhagen.

“The attack in Paris is an attack on all of us. Let us all stand together for freedom and against extremism. We see them for what they are: Fanatics and criminals,” said Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen at the event after observing a minute of silence in honor of the victims. He stressed the importance of everyone carrying on as before.

“We have to hold on to our daily lives. If we cannot sit down without fear at a cafe, then we have surely lost. Let us together fight the darkness, light a light for all the people, who died in Paris,” Rasmussen said.

Two days after the attacks on a soccer stadium, a concert hall and numerous bars and cafes in Central Paris, the French authorities was still trying to identify victims and relatives were still looking for loved ones. In Denmark, several ceremonies mourning the victims had been held mourning the people killed and wounded in the shootings and most buildings had flagged on half throughout the weekend. The Danish Prime Minister rushed along with other heads of states to condemn the attacks, describing them as unbelievable and cynical.

We have to fight the same enemies.
The French Ambassador in Denmark, Francois Zimeray, acknowledged the support of the Danish people and other countries and stressed the importance of countries standing together to fight terrorism.

“Freedom is a vision of the World. It is the same we share. We have to fight the same enemies,” said Zimeray with reference to Islamic State or ISIS, the terrorist organization claiming responsibility for the attacks. He especially thanked the Danish people for once again showing their solidarity with France by being present at the ceremony and by the continuous stream of flowers, which had been laid in front of the French Embassy over the weekend.

Danes talk of themselves as a small country but you are a great people. And you have shown that in our darkest hour,” Zimeray said and received several smiles from the audience in return.

The war has no color and no religion
The torches were almost burned out and several were already laying smoking on the ground. A 5-year-old boy with a blue cap balanced on a small ledge in order to get a better a view, his mother standing beside. A light-haired girl and a woman with a scarf lightly wrapped over her dark hair exchanged a few words nearby. The street seemed to be alive with people of all ages, nationalities and religions.

I think we will win. Because we are united in front of a horror, which has no color and no religion,” said the French Ambassador in tune with the sentiment of the moment.

Helle Munk from ActionAid Denmark agreed that this war was not a battle between religions, but an attack on everyone believing in the values of democracy and human rights. But the attacks in Paris were unfortunately not the only ones. In October, more than 90 people were killed in a terrorist attack in Turkey and in November more than 40 people were killed in an attack in Lebanon.

The last torches had burned out and people were starting to leave when the last band ended the evening by echoing the sentiment of the evening with the words by Outlandish “We will not let you be indifferent to the world…”

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