Silent march draws thousands to Washington, D.C.
Members of the French and American communities came together this past Sunday, January 11, for a silent march organized by the French Embassy to honor victims and law enforcement officials affected by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. The march commenced at the Newseum, a museum dedicated to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Around 3,000 people gathered to march in solidarity from the Newseum to the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, where the event concluded.
Among those in attendance were Ambassador Gérard Araud, as well as many of his counterparts. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, also marched on the front line with Ambassador Araud.
Participants in the march paused for a moment of silence upon arriving at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial before singing La Marseillaise, the French national anthem. At this memorial, which is dedicated to the sacrifices made by police and law enforcement forces, the crowd honored not only those who gave their lives in the terrorist attacks, but also the men and women who fought to protect the French people in the face of great danger.
Ambassador Araud stayed after the march to speak with many people from all over the world who came to show their support for France and the upholding of democratic ideals and freedom of expression. The Ambassador said that he was impressed by the number of people that came out for the event.