All my efforts to contact the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo failed. Not to be outdone, though I decided I’d add some of the compost to the Memorial tree either before or after the Memorial Service.
I ventured onto the site on Saturday evening but, couldn’t get near the tree for the security. So I decided to scatter the compost around the tree roots after the Memorial Service the next day.
So, on the morning of Jan 10, 2016 I stood with thousands of Parisians in the Place de la Republique for the memorial for the victims of Charlie Hebdo, The Bataclan and all such acts of terrorism in France.
The ceremony was beautifully simple, short and flawless. The sound was superb. There was some singing and some reciting. Johnny Hallyday sang. The French President Francois Hollande and The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo laid a wreath. The Choir sang La Marseillaise and it was all over.
Like all these things I have gone to whether in France or Australia, most people were there because they could not not be there. There was the same silence and the same walking whilst being deep in yourself. The same reflective mood. In fact people were so reflective, when the Marseilles was being sung, they were too within themselves to sing along, which for French people really says something!
Later that evening, after it was all over, I went over to the memorial tree and scattered the compost over the roots. I said a prayer for peace and in honour of all the victims and for all those decent Australian and French folk who cared enough to honour them.