On Tuesday French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries honored the victims of the Hyper Cacher terrorist attacks by unveiling commemorative plaques at the kosher supermarket and at the old offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine. It has been nearly one year since 17 people were killed by Islamic extremists over a three-day rampage, including four people inside the kosher supermarket, 12 Charlie Hebdo staffers at the magazine’s headquarters, and Ahmed Merabet, a 40-year-old Muslim police officer who was shot point-blank while trying to stop two of the Charlie Hebdo gunmen. Reported the AP:
The French president briefly met with some of the survivors of the attack inside the supermarket, including Lassana Bathily, a Mali-born employee of market who hid a group of hostages in the store’s underground stockroom. Bathily then sneaked out to speak to police and help the operation to free the 15 hostages and kill the attacker. Bathily has been hailed as a hero and granted French citizenship.
He told Itele television he was there “to share the moment with families and friends of the victims and colleagues…to show that we are here with our heart.”
In December, Tablet contributor Lisa Sanders reported on the memorial ceremony in Sarcelles, a French suburb, for Yohan Cohen, who was killed in the Hyper Cacher attacks.
The Charlie Hebdo plaque starts: “To the memory of victims of the terrorist attack against freedom of expression.” But when it was unveiled, it became clear that the name of catoonist Georges Wolinski was misspelled. The AP called the moment “embarrassing,” and said that a new plaque would be created.
Hollande will unveil another plaque on Saturday to honor police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe, who was killed in the southern Paris suburb of Montrouge by one of the attackers on Jan. 8.
Charlie Hebdo will release a commemorative issue on the Wednesday, and it’s already stirring controversy.