Photos Of The Charlie Hebdo Memorial Plaques, Unveiled One Year Later, Are Moving
This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, which left 17 people dead. On January 7, 2015, brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi stormed into the offices of the French satirical newspaper and kicked off a series of attacks that would last for three days. On Tuesday, just ahead of the anniversary of the event, France honored the victims in a memorial ceremony led by President Francois Hollande. Along with family members of the victims, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, dignitaries, and military personnel, Hollande unveiled three plaques to honor the Charlie Hebdo victims, each one hung in a different location involved in the attacks.
One plaque is outside the newspaper's office building to commemorate the cartoonists and staff members who were killed. It reads: "To the memory of victims of the terrorist attack against freedom of expression." Under that line are the names of the 11 victims -- one of which was unfortunately spelled wrong. Authorities temporarily covered up the plaque and have ordered a new one to be made immediately.
Nearby, another tribute was presented on the sidewalk. A spray-painted message reads, "Je suis Ahmed" to honor officer Ahmed Merabet, who was killed as he chased the gunmen outside of the building. A third plaque is at Hypercacher, the kosher supermarket where Amedy Coulibaly, an associate of the brothers who held more than a dozen people hostage and killed four.
Hollande plans to introduce a fourth plaque on Saturday which pays tribute to police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe, who was killed by Coulibaly the day before the supermarket siege. He will then conclude the week with a Tree of Remembrance at the Place de la République in Paris on Sunday.
The ceremony comes as Charlie Hebdo issues its anniversary edition Wednesday. In pre-released pictures, the issue's cover features God armed with an assault rifle and wearing a blood-splattered robe along with the caption, "One year on: The assassin is still out there."
The cartoon was illustrated by Laurent Sourisseau, nicknamed Riss, who was injured in the attacks and took over as publishing director in the wake. He also wrote an editorial for the issue denouncing "fanatics made stupid by the Koran, but also bigots from every religion who wished upon us the hell they believe in, because we dared to laugh at religion."
The anniversary issue will also feature cartoons drawn by the five cartoonists who were killed in the attack, including Stephane "Charb" Charbonnier, who was editor-in-chief of the newspaper.