The French Will Never Forget: A Commemoration of 9/11 in Paris



The Sign on the Towers Reads in French and English: The French Will Never Forget

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 American and French flags flying over Paris

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.


4 Responses to “The French Will Never Forget: A Commemoration of 9/11 in Paris”

  1. Bonnie says:

    Thank you, Parisians, for helping us to remember & honor the souls we lost on September 11, 2001. You have touched me with your ceremony. Thank you, Madelyn, for reporting this ceremony becasue the press here never mentioned the it. We would have never known were it not for you sharing this. I am grateful.

  2. april says:

    Oh, this brought tears to my eyes! Thank, you Paris – and France, for honouring the souls that perished on 11-September. The entire world was affected by this tragedy. Bless you for taking the time to recognise and remember it.

  3. Angela says:

    Wow. I had no idea that France had such an honorable ceremony. What a horrendous day for my country. It is very comforting to know that we don’t stand alone in this world. Thank you. As Bonnie said, I do not recall mention of this commemoration. But, I sure am grateful, and I know if other Americans knew about this, they would be grateful, too.

  4. Comstance says:

    Thank you for reporting this as we were not shown this on American TV stations.
    We will never forget the week we spent in Paris after Sept 11 when we could not fly home and the French people were so very kind to us during that awful time of sadness.

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