Tributes paid as first Paris victims buried

National Assembly sing ‘Marseillaise’ in emotional scenes

Following a minute's silence in respect of the victims of the recent attacks in Paris, the French parliament breaks into a rendition of 'La Marseillaise' for the first time since 1918. Video: Assemblée Nationale

The spirit of unity that has seized France since three Islamist gunmen killed 17 people last week grew even stronger when the first victims were buried and the National Assembly displayed a shared sense of purpose unseen in living memory.

The assembly's homage to the men and women killed at Charlie Hebdo and in a kosher supermarket began with a minute's silence. As it ended, one deputy burst into the Marseillaise. Faces registered surprise. Then the entire assembly – nearly 500 deputies – joined in.

It was the first time since the end of the first World War that the Marseillaise has been sung in the chamber.

President Francois Hollande leads a Paris ceremony to pay last respects to the three police officers, who were killed in last week's violence. Video: Reuters

Prime minister Manuel Valls received three standing ovations during a rousing 45-minute speech on the Islamist threat, new security measures and the place of Jews and Muslims in France.


“I want to say, with gravity, that not only is the threat still present; a very high level of risk remains, linked to possible accomplices or coming from networks, from those who give orders in international terrorism,” Mr Valls warned. “We owe this truth to the French.”

New security measures announced by Mr Valls include a new terrorist watchlist, adoption of the US Passenger Name Record system and isolated sections for Islamist prisoners by the end of this year.


President François Hollande spoke earlier in the day at the homage to the three police officers killed last week,

Clarissa Jean-Philippe


Franck Brinsolaro


Ahmed Merabet


“Clarissa, Franck and Ahmed died so that we could live,” Mr Hollande said as uniformed policemen wept unashamedly in the courtyard of the Paris Préfecture. Mr Hollande placed the red-ribboned Legion of Honour, awarded posthumously, on their coffins.

In Jerusalem, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab and François-Michel Saada were buried in the same cemetery where funerals were held three years ago for a rabbi and three Jewish children murdered by a French Islamist.

Philippe Braham was buying groceries for the Jewish sabbath when he was gunned down. “All four were killed because they were Jewish. That is the most revolting death,” said Ségolène Royal, France’s environment minister, who represented the French government.

Lara Marlowe

Lara Marlowe

Lara Marlowe is an Irish Times contributor