France begins burying victims of Paris terror attacks
Paris, Nov 23: Huge processions, personalised coffins and an invitation to the Rolling Stones are among the ways that French families have begun burying the young victims of the November 13 Paris attacks.
Of the 130 fatalities in the carnage, 105 were French, hailing from 29 towns and cities, and ranging in age from 23 to 41. Families have reached out on social media in an effort to personalise tributes for the people they lost.
The family of one victim, 33-year-old Aurelie de Peretti, launched a worldwide appeal for an artist to decorate de Peretti's coffin in a manner that befit the rock fan. "Aurelie's family went to the funeral home and discovered with horror that the coffins were all pretty much the same," explained Patricia, a family friend, in an interview with the Huffington Post.
The family has received lots of proposals from various street artists. Matthieu Mauduit asked the Rolling Stones to attend the funeral of his brother Cedric who was killed at the Bataclan concert hall.
The rock group declined the invitation, but sent their "most sincere condolences" to Mauduit. In the western seaside port of Concarneau, almost 3,000 people marched on Sunday in remembrance of Estelle Rouat, 25, who was also killed at the Bataclan.
As local music played, her cousins led a procession carrying a large photo of a smiling Rouat, who grew up in the town.
"Seeing so many people proves that life goes on and that we must fight; we cannot let cruelty win," said one of Rouat's uncles who arranged the march. "We must continue to live, to go out, to listen to music," he added.
One funeral took place on Saturday in the northern French city of Hasnon for Sebastien Proisy, 38, reported the Voix du Nord newspaper. France will hold a national tribute to the victims on Friday in Paris.
President Francois Hollande is expected to attend, along with many of the 350 people injured in the attacks.