French President Emmanuel Macron held a memorial ceremony on Wednesday in Paris for the French Israelis killed on October 7, marking four months since the Hamas massacre.
Family members of the 42 dual citizens, together with relatives of French Israelis kidnapped by Hamas, were invited to the ceremony, which took place at the Invalides monument building in the center of Paris. The French government chartered an airplane to bring the families from Israel and hosted them in Paris. After the ceremony, the families were set to meet Macron at the Elysee Palace.
The ceremony began with French Republican Guard officers, dressed in blue and black, carrying the pictures of the 42 victims, as the French Army orchestra played kaddish by French composer Maurice Ravel. Once the soldiers with the portraits were standing at the court, Macron delivered his speech, which was the only address during the sober ceremony.
“They weren’t even 30 years old,” he said. “Avidan, Valentin, or Naomi will never reach that age. They all had their dreams. They studied law, or computer science, started a job, found love, got engaged. They had faith, or not, had a guitar, a surfboard on the waves of the Mediterranean. They were full of ideals.”
Placed under the theme of the continuous battle of France against antisemitism, Macron said October 7 was “the largest antisemitic massacre of our century,” adding that the barbarism of Hamas “was nourished by antisemitism.”
“Nothing justifies the terror acts” perpetrated on October 7, he said.
France continues to battle for the liberation of the hostages, Macron said, adding that “their chairs are still empty.”