GREENWICH, Conn. — In a sign of fraternité and memory of those murdered in last week's terrorist attacks in Paris, about 80 people gathered Friday morning to watch as the French flag was raised in front of Greenwich Town Hall and to sing La Marseillaise, the French national anthem.
Renée Ketcham, president of Greenwich's Alliance Française, said it was a somber day but also one to celebrate all that's best in the world.
"We are all here to honor those lost in those horrendous attacks last week. With as much chaos, senseless violence and terrorism, we're here to prove there is still unity and goodness and great joy in this world," she said.
She also said the United States owes a debt to France and, in particular, the Marquis de Lafayette, for their role in supporting the American Revolution.
"We wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the Marquis de Lafayette," she said about the French military leader who helped George Washington. "We owe France our independence in many respects. France is family and I know that those of you who are Francophone or Francophile we're here to defend our family and it's really important."
First Selectman Peter Tesei said the town has many connections with France and with the local French community.
"We are deeply connected with the French community not only abroad but right here in the town of Greenwich," Tesei said. "Given the horrific events it is now more important to show our solidarity."
A moment of silence was held during the ceremony before Serge Gabriel raised the French flag in front of Town Hall. He then led the crowd in singing La Marseillaise.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.