It sometimes felt like a never-ending funeral. Some came to the bar all in black. Some reread the speech they read in the cemetery six years ago. Many cried. Meanwhile, the portrait of the deceased, alive and smiling, occupied the giant screen behind the courtyard. Raphael posing as James Bond. Thomas, a pint of beer in his hand. Anne and Pierre-Yves on a boat. Valentin in his young lawyer dress. Lola in a summer dress. Quentin in a bow tie. Emmanuel pushing his two children in a wheelbarrow.
It was a question of giving a face and a little flesh to those which were until then only squares or dots on the plans of the Bataclan, of telling the life of a child, of a sister, of a spouse, a missing cousin, to say that we love them and that we do not forget them. We heard the tribute of a 13-year-old girl – she was 7 in 2015 – to her father, and that of a 77-year-old grandfather to his granddaughter who died when she was 17.
The exercise is usual at the Assizes, but the number of victims of the Bataclan gave it unprecedented proportions. Nearly half of the 90 people killed in the attack on the concert hall were honored by their relatives for five days, from Wednesday 20 to Tuesday 26 October, at the rate of fifteen depositions per day. Seventy-five shades of funeral oration.
“Our anxieties, our doubts, our cracks are of the order of the intimate, and the intimate cannot be shared, it seems to me”, said a father who lost his son. Some have shared it at length. The president of the court, Jean-Louis Périès, did not interrupt anyone, even when we were walking away from the Bataclan. The civil parties were numerous to thank him for this total listening.
The survivors had described the hell of the Bataclan seen from the inside. Relatives of the disappeared told of the disaster experienced from across Paris, France, or the world – people came from England, Spain, Algeria, or Chile to honor the memory of a dead person. As with the survivors, each story is alike, and each story is unique. Seventy-five shades of an evening that sinks into the darkness over the minutes and text messages into the void.
10:22 p.m., Zahra writes to her sister Hélène: “Hello, everything is fine, are you at home?” “ No answer. ” Where are you ? “, Nadine asks her son Valentin at 10:39 pm No answer. 10.53 p.m .: “Give us some news. ” No answer. Christiane recommends her daughter Cécile to take precautions. No answer. “Maybe she’s far from her cell phone. “ Jocelyne also tries to reassure herself, her son Nicolas does not make a sign: “If I haven’t heard from the police, he must be alive. “ Hacène, on the contrary, worries: “Knowing Thomas, if he hadn’t had anything, he would have found a way to give news. “ “Hello dad, did you see what’s going on?” “, writes 15-year-old Nino to his father. No answer. “I had a horrible feeling, I remembered seeing concert tickets the week before at his place. “
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