SALFORD joined the rest of Europe in a minute’s silence at 11am on Monday (November 16) honoring the victims from last Friday’s deadly terrorist attack in Paris.
As the clock struck 11am the people of Salford came to a standstill, some bowing their heads to the ground while couples were seen holding hands with their partners.
Among these were Peter, 54, and Angela Booth, 53, of Salford, who strongly condemned the attacks in Paris: “We find it so shocking that a human being could inflict such horrible things on others.”
The Paris attacks left millions around the globe saddened but for Mr. Booth it also rehashed traumatic memories of the past.
“It reminded me of during the London bombings, I was on a bus that was so close to the explosion, I heard the bomb explode, it was so frightening,” Mr. Booth told Quays News.
Friday’s attacks has also seen recent changes to the UK foreign travel advice site warning British nationals in France to exercise caution in public places and to follow the advice of local authorities.
Adam Sullivan and Rebecca Miller of Salford, 16, have been left shaken by the terror unleashed on France’s capital: “We are really scared about Europe’s situation, and we would cancel any trip to Paris if we had one planned.”
But there have also been hopeful reactions in the wake of the deadly attacks.
After seeing broadcasted images of famous landmarks around the world being lit up with the colours of the French flag, local people in Salford paid their respects by adding the French tricolour to their social media profiles.
Among these was Salford University student Chantelle Heeds who thought it was important to “do something”.
“I felt so strongly about it all so changing my profile picture to the French flag is my small sign of respect,” said Chantelle.
The rest of Manchester has also shown its support for Paris with the French tricolour illuminated across the city’s Town Hall over the weekend.
An emotional vigil was also held at Piccadilly Gardens on Sunday night where hundreds of people flocked into the heart of Manchester holding candles towards the night sky and carrying images of the Eiffel Tower close to their chests.
The response from the world has given hope to Paris and its victims and it has given hope to Europe as the continent copes with a consistent terror threat.
Lowry employee, Leslie Taylor, 59, says resilience and defiance are key going forward: “We shouldn’t let them stop us, otherwise they win.”
By Anthony Piovesan