A day of Remembrance in France

French national flags are for sale, on November 27, 2015, in Paris, during a national tribute to the 130 people killed in the November 13 Paris attacks. AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD -AFP PHOTO/ ALAIN JOCARD / AFP / ALAIN JOCARD

Wounded survivors of Paris attacks gathered Friday at a remembrance ceremony in Paris. President François Hollande vowed to ‘defeat this enemy’, telling traumatised nation: ‘They have a cult of death, but we have a love of life’.

At the solemn national ceremony to remember the victims of France’s worst-ever terrorist attacks, more than 2,000 family members and survivors gathered. But many more wounded survivors were still in hospital, several in intensive care, unable to attend.

Many of the 352 injured had suffered devastating and life-changing injuries, and doctors said hundreds more had suffered psychological trauma that would be hard to overcome. François Hollande arrived to the sound of the national anthem La Marseillaise attempted to address the trauma of a nation. His message – in a speech he had written himself – was that France would not change. He promised that the diverse nation with a love of life and freedom would remain “just how the victims had loved it”.

More than half of the victims were under 35. The victims came from more than 50 places in France — housing estates, villages, countryside and cities — and 17 different countries. Hollande said 13 November, when gunmen and suicide bombers attacked bars, restaurants, the Bataclan concert hall and the Stade de France stadium, was a date that would always be remembered in France.