The First Anniversary Of The 'Charlie Hebdo' Attacks Will Be Honored With Remembrance Events Throughout The City
In the days immediately following the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris last January, a staggering four million people rallied in the streets in support of the satirical French magazine. The slogan “Je Suis Charlie” quickly went viral on Twitter, with more than 3.4 million uses recorded in the first 24 hours after the attack. Although commemoration events planned to mark the anniversary of the attack later this week in Paris have not been designed to draw similar sized crowds, the public has not forgotten the victims killed between Jan. 7 and Jan. 9, 2015, when gunmen stormed Charlie Hebdo's offices and a kosher supermarket.
On Friday, all 17 victims were posthumously awarded France’s highest decoration, the Legion of Honor. Plaques honoring them will be revealed Tuesday at the site of the attacks, in an event expected to be attended by government officials and the victims’ families. A “tree of remembrance” will be planted next Sunday at Republique Plaza in Paris, which has served as the home of an informal memorial for both the Charlie Hebdo attacks and the November shootings which left more than 100 people dead across the city.
To honor the anniversary, one million copies of a 32-page special issue of Charlie Hebdo, featuring work from the 12 staffers killed in the attack, will be published worldwide Wednesday, a day ahead of the shooting’s anniversary. The commemorative issue will also feature messages of support and new work from current staff. The publication has already begun taking pre-orders, with orders for 50,000 coming from wholesalers in Germany alone. It has yet to be revealed how many copies will be shipped to the United States, which saw a total of 20,000 copies of the survivors issue go on sale in just three major cities. Charlie Hebdo has not said whether it will release additional copies of the issue, should it be in as high a demand as the survivors issue was last year.
The satirical magazine has seen a massive increase in sales since last year’s tragedy, but has reportedly been plagued by internal disagreements over money. The resignation of senior cartoonist 'Luz' — who drew the Charlie Hebdo cover commemorating its deceased staffers — and columnist Patrick Pelloux also hit the magazine hard. Following the record-breaking sale of 7.5 million copies of a special survivors issue released a week after the shooting, the magazine jumped from barely managing to sell 30,000 copies a week to having 180,000 subscribers and selling 100,000 copies a week at newsstands.
For those in the United States hoping to honor the victims, there has so far been no word on whether the White House will attend or offer its own commemoration on the anniversary. U.S. President Barack Obama was absent from the massive Paris march held last year to commemorate victims in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. While his administration never commented on why Obama did not join leaders from Germany, Israel, and Great Britain, they stressed the president's public statements of sympathy, personal phone conversations with French President Francois Hollande, and his visit to the French embassy as evidence of the United States' support and solidarity with France.
As Parisians, French leaders, and the friends and families of those killed in the Charlie Hebdo attacks come together publicly to honor the victims, many supporters will recall the tragedy in more understated ways. A tweeted “Je Suis Charlie” — first used by French artist and writer Joachim Roncin — or the purchase of Charlie Hebdo's latest issue can serve as a personal act of remembrance for those lost in the deadly attacks.