Warning: Better get a box of tissues for this one.
On Tuesday, The Washington Post published photos and brief descriptions of those whose lives were tragically lost in Friday night’s terrorist attacks in Paris. They were murdered during a metal concert at the Bataclan Theater, at restaurants, in bars and cafés, and in the street. More power to the Post for telling each of their stories, one at a time. You can read them here.
Many of the victims’ stories in the Post were provided by their families or drawn from information posted on Facebook and Twitter. While some of these stories are in English, many are in French. I encourage you to go read the English language accounts. For those of you who do not speak French, I would like to make the victims’ stories accessible by providing some translations here. Disclaimer: My French is far from perfect, but I will do my best to convey the essence of the message. I take full responsibility for any errors.
Armelle Pumir Anticevic, 46: (Her husband, Joseph, speaks about how he and his wife were separated at the Bataclan Theater): “When the first policemen arrived, Armelle said to me ‘Come on, let’s go.’ We weren’t far from the exit. Armelle was behind me, everyone was rushing to get out. She fell. I thought that she had tripped over a dead body. I picked it up the corpse, I carried it. But on arriving close to the door, a cop grabbed me by the arm and I had to drop it. Damn! I never saw Armelle again.”
Baptiste Chevreau, 24: “According to France Bleu, Chevreau was originally from Tonnerre and the grandson of singer Anne Sylvèstre. ‘This young man did his schooling at Tonnerre. His passion was music, he participated in the activities of the conservatory and was going to find work in a music school in Paris.’”
Cécile Misse, 32: “The Suresnes Jean Vilar Theater confirmed Misse’s death in a statement posted to their website. The theater wrote: ‘For us, she will remain forever a magnificent example of devotion, involvement, enthusiasm and rare professionalism. We will never forget her as we continue, together, to pursue our craft.’”
Christophe Lellouche, 33: “Libération quoted a friend, Florian Giraud, who described Lellouche as a composer, musician and sports fan. ‘We met because we were both fans of OM. I knew him for his sense of humor and the way he enjoyed joking around. When I met him, I was surprised: He who had trashed lots of people on Twitter was actually a fine person.”
Cédric Gomet, 30: “Patrick Simonin, a colleague at TV5MONDE, posted to Twitter: ‘The staff of @TV5Monde gather in tearful pain in that one of its own, our friend Cédric Gomet, was cut down at the Bataclan.”
Hyacinthe Koma, 37: “Just ask anyone about him and they’ll tell you he was ‘a love,’ ‘the essence of gentleness.’ He had a wry sense of humor and a ready smile, he was a friend. This was a simple person whose presence was always sweet and comforting.”
Madeleine Sadin, 30: “Sadin’s death was reported by Le Parisien, where she was described as a lover of rock, swing, and above all, her profession of teaching. ‘For two whole days, her young students wrote RIP over and over again on social media. “Shocking,” “sad,” “horrible” were their reactions. Some just couldn’t find the words. Others went right out on Saturday to display a flower or a candle to pay their respects as soon as possible to this ‘incomparable’ teacher.’”
Marion Jouanneau: “Jouanneau’s uncle, Frédéric Potier, spoke with L’Écho Républicain: ‘Marion Jouanneau was a young woman full of plans. She was going to leave to continue her studies in New York. It is her French youth and vigor that we loved and of which we are so proud. She leaves a saddened family and a younger sister, age 23, for whom she was a role model, her uncle insists.’”
Pour être continué . . . (to be continued)