Sombre event held in Preston to remember terrorism victims in France

The people of Preston joined French exchange students in the Flag Market for a candlelit vigil marking the IS massacres in Paris last week.'Singing the French national anthem, La Marseiillaise.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'17-11-2015
The people of Preston joined French exchange students in the Flag Market for a candlelit vigil marking the IS massacres in Paris last week.'Singing the French national anthem, La Marseiillaise. PIC BY ROB LOCK'17-11-2015
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Dozens of people attended a vigil in Preston city centre to remember the victims of the Paris terrorism massacre.

French ex-pats and supporters from all over the city attended a sombre candlelit vigil on Preston’s Flag Market tonight.

The people of Preston joined French exchange students in the Flag Market for a candlelit vigil marking the IS massacres in Paris last week.'Laying out tea-lights to spell out Paris.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'17-11-2015

The people of Preston joined French exchange students in the Flag Market for a candlelit vigil marking the IS massacres in Paris last week.'Laying out tea-lights to spell out Paris. PIC BY ROB LOCK'17-11-2015

The moving event was played out against a backdrop of the Harris Museum bearing red white and blue lights

The candlelit tribute was organised by French ex-pats and students living in Lancashire.

They had urged people of all nationalities to join the show of unity by lighting candles for the 129 who were massacred in Friday’s attacks.

And Preston’s residents, workers and passing shoppers joined them to show their solidarity with the French people.

The people of Preston joined French exchange students in the Flag Market for a candlelit vigil marking the IS massacres in Paris last week.'The students with tea-lights spelling out Paris.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'17-11-2015

The people of Preston joined French exchange students in the Flag Market for a candlelit vigil marking the IS massacres in Paris last week.'The students with tea-lights spelling out Paris. PIC BY ROB LOCK'17-11-2015

The gathering staged a minute’s silence and then sang the French national anthem La Marseillaise.

The Mayor of Preston, Coun Margaret McManus, offered organisers her condolences.

Vigil organiser Julie Geoffroy, who was born in Paris, but has lived in Preston for 12 years, was moved by the support.

The gathering included a large group of French students on placement in the town.

The people of Preston joined French exchange students in the Flag Market for a candlelit vigil marking the IS massacres in Paris last week.'Singing the French national anthem, La Marseiillaise.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'17-11-2015

The people of Preston joined French exchange students in the Flag Market for a candlelit vigil marking the IS massacres in Paris last week.'Singing the French national anthem, La Marseiillaise. PIC BY ROB LOCK'17-11-2015

She told the audience: “I don’t know what to say – thank you.”

Preston man Fraser McMillan said he felt compelled to attend.

He said: “I used to work at the university so I came into contact with people from all over the world. It’s important to show support for others when something like this happens.”

Meanwhile, students at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston held their own reflective event on Sunday.

The people of Preston joined French exchange students in the Flag Market for a candlelit vigil marking the IS massacres in Paris last week.'Proudly wearing the French tricolour.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'17-11-2015

The people of Preston joined French exchange students in the Flag Market for a candlelit vigil marking the IS massacres in Paris last week.'Proudly wearing the French tricolour. PIC BY ROB LOCK'17-11-2015

International students, some of them French, gathered to hold a minute’s silence near the university library, before walking to light candles and place French flags on the Flag Market.

Valentin, a French student and teaching assistant at UCLan, said: “It is important to be present at this event because even if France was attacked, it was as if all the democracies in the world were attacked as well.

“We have to be proud of our humanity and values and share them where we can do.”

The people of Preston joined French exchange students in the Flag Market for a candlelit vigil marking the IS massacres in Paris last week. The Mayor of Preston Councilllor Margaret Mcmanus conveys the city's condolences and thoughts to the students.  PIC BY ROB LOCK 17-11-2015

The people of Preston joined French exchange students in the Flag Market for a candlelit vigil marking the IS massacres in Paris last week. The Mayor of Preston Councilllor Margaret Mcmanus conveys the city's condolences and thoughts to the students. PIC BY ROB LOCK 17-11-2015