On November 13, 2015, three shooters entered the venue known as the Bataclan and opened fire on the audience. It was part of the larger attacks on Paris that were later claimed by ISIS. Of the 130 people who were killed, 90 of those were concertgoers at the Bataclan.
The venue remained closed until this past Saturday, when Sting played a concert in both remembrance of those who were killed and a celebration of unity and moving forward in dark times. Over 1,000 people attended the event, and all proceeds were donated to the organizations called Life for Paris and 13 Novembre: Fraternité Verité, both of which support the victims and the families of those who were killed.
Sting called for a moment of silence for the victims, and followed up by speaking in French, “We shall not forget them.”
In re-opening the Bataclan, we have two important tasks to reconcile. First, to remember and honour those who lost their lives in the attack a year ago, and second to celebrate the life and the music that this historic theatre represents. In doing so we hope to respect the memory as well as the life affirming spirit of those who fell. We shall not forget them.
Many of the people in the audience were survivors and family members of those who died. One such man was Georges Salines, whose daughter was killed last year. “I was very emotional and thinking of my daughter all the time because I overlooked the place where she was standing last night,” he said. “I saw pictures of her taken from this balcony.”
Thankfully, the men responsible for the act of violence were either killed the day of the attacks or imprisoned. The main suspect, Salah Abdeslam, was also the only known survivor of the attacking group. He was captured in a police raid back in March of 2016 and has been in solitary confinement in a European prison ever since.