Paris will never forget the thousands who died on September 11, 2011 . A solemn event commemorated this terrible day organized by ‘The French Will Never Forget’, Association. It took place at the Trocadero, across the river from the Eiffel Tower.
The Towers of the World Trade Center were symbolically erected at the Palais Chaillot,. The American and French flags flew on the spires of the Palais, the largest flags ever made in France, measuring 59 feet x 30 feet. The two white towers framed the Eiffel Tower in the background, symbolizing the union of these two nations.
I walked to the Trocadero with a friend and we stood in solemn silence as the moment of the first impact was marked. Ambassador Charles Rifkin, the American Ambassador to France attended as did the French Ambassador to Washington.
The ceremony opened with French children carrying the large flags that were raised over the memorial while choirs from the Académie de Musique and Young American Presidential Scholars of The Arts sang the French National Anthem and the American National Anthems. It brought tears to my eyes.
With many others, we stood in silence at the moment of the impact of the first airplane. And waited for the moment of the second impact while the choir sang. It was a gray day in Paris and the skies opened up with rain at 8:46, one minute after the first plane hit the World Trade Center., an eerie reflection of this sad and somber moment.
To the 2.976 victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center and to their families and friends — we will never forget you.