France pays tribute to 2015 terrorism victims in silent ceremony

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France pays tribute to 2015 terrorism victims in silent ceremony
France's President Francois Hollande, left, and Prime Minister Manuel Valls, right, lay a wreath of flowers during a ceremony to honour the victims of the Islamic extremist attacks at Place de la Republique in Paris, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries are holding a special ceremony to honor all those killed in Islamic extremist attacks around Paris in 2015, a year when the European way of life was targeted time and again with deadly consequences. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
France's President Francois Hollande, left, and Prime Minister Manuel Valls, right, lay a wreath of flowers during a ceremony to honour the victims of the Islamic extremist attacks at Place de la Republique in Paris, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries are holding a special ceremony to honor all those killed in Islamic extremist attacks around Paris in 2015, a year when the European way of life was targeted time and again with deadly consequences. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Members of the public sing following a remembrance rally at Place de la Republique (Republic square) on January 10, 2016 to mark a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique will be the focus of the gathering as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
French model Laeticia Hallyday attend a ceremony to honour the victims of the Islamic extremist attacks at Place de la Republique in Paris, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries are holding a special ceremony to honor all those killed in Islamic extremist attacks around Paris in 2015, a year when the European way of life was targeted time and again with deadly consequences. (Yoan Valat, via AP Pool)
French honour guards stand next to the monument at Place de la Republique in Paris, where people laid candles cards and flags during a ceremony to honour the victims of the Islamic extremist attacks at at Place de la Republique in Paris, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries are holding a special ceremony to honor all those killed in Islamic extremist attacks around Paris in 2015, a year when the European way of life was targeted time and again with deadly consequences. (Yoan Valat, via AP Pool)
(From L) French Paris' Mayor Anne Hidalgo, French President Francois Hollande and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls attend a remembrance rally at Place de la Republique (Republic square) on January 10, 2016 to mark a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique will be the focus of the gathering as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. / AFP / POOL / YOAN VALAT (Photo credit should read YOAN VALAT/AFP/Getty Images)
(From L) French Senate President Gerard Larcher, French Paris' mayor Anne Hidalgo, French President Francois Hollande, French Prime minister Manuel Valls, Paris' deputy Sandrine Mazetier, Paris' former mayor Bertrand Delanoe, French Education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, French minister for Social Affairs, Health and Women's Rights Marisol Touraine and French singer Johnny Hallyday attend a remembrance rally at Place de la Republique (Republic square) on January 10, 2016 in Paris, to mark a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique will be the focus of the gathering as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. / AFP / THOMAS SAMSON (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Forground, France's President Francois Hollande, left, talks to French rock star Johnny Hallyday, background, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, left, greets Hallyday's wife Laeticia prior to a ceremony to honour the victims of the Islamic extremist attacks at Place de la Republique in Paris, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries are holding a special ceremony to honor all those killed in Islamic extremist attacks around Paris in 2015, a year when the European way of life was targeted time and again with deadly consequences. (Philippe Wojazer, via AP Pool)
French President Francois Hollande hugs a man as he greets the families of the victims and survivors of the attacks during a remembrance rally at Place de la Republique (Republic square) on January 10, 2016 to mark a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique will be the focus of the gathering as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman wearing a jacket reading the names og the January 2015 and November 2015 Paris attacks victims is pictured on Place de la Republique (Republic square) on January 10, 2016 in Paris, as the city marks a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique is the focus of gatherings as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSON / AFP / THOMAS SAMSON (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)
The families of the victims and survivors attend a remembrance rally at Place de la Republique (Republic square) on January 10, 2016 to mark a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique will be the focus of the gathering as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, left, France's President Francois Hollande, center, and Prime Minister Manuel Valls attend a ceremony to honour the victims of the Islamic extremist attacks at Place de la Republique in Paris, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries are holding a special ceremony to honor all those killed in Islamic extremist attacks around Paris in 2015, a year when the European way of life was targeted time and again with deadly consequences. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
A man holding a placard reading 'I am afraid but I am here' during a gathering on Place de la Republique (Republic square) on January 10, 2016 in Paris, as the city marks a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique is the focus of gatherings as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. / AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
CORRECTION - Pierre-Yves Martin, Mayor of Livry-Gargan (2nd), flanked by the mother of Ahmed Merabet (3rdL), unveils a commemorative plaque during a ceremony on January 10, 2016 at Livry-Gargan, near Paris, to pay tribute to police officer Ahmed Merabet killed in Paris during the attack on Charlie Hebdo on 7 January 2015. Tens of thousands are expected to attend an event in Paris on January 10 to mark a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. / AFP / MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE / The erroneous mention appearing in the metadata of this photo by MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: JANUARY instead of DECEMBER. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention from all your online services and delete it from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo credit should read MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE/AFP/Getty Images)
The flowers placed by Paris' mayor and the French president is placed at the foot of the Statue of Marianne during a remembrance rally attended by the President of France at Place de la Republique (Republic square) on January 10, 2016 to mark a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique will be the focus of the gathering as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
French rocker star Johnny Hallyday sing among an army choir during a ceremony to honour the victims of the Islamic extremist attacks at Place de la Republique in Paris, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries are holding a special ceremony to honor all those killed in Islamic extremist attacks around Paris in 2015, a year when the European way of life was targeted time and again with deadly consequences. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
French rock star Johnny Hallyday sing among an army choir during a ceremony to honour the victims of the Islamic extremist attacks at Place de la Republique in Paris, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries are holding a special ceremony to honor all those killed in Islamic extremist attacks around Paris in 2015, a year when the European way of life was targeted time and again with deadly consequences. (Yoan Valat, via AP Pool)
Jean-Baptiste Redde aka Voltuan holds-up a banner that reads, 'We must remember' following a remembrance rally attended by the President of France at Place de la Republique (Republic square) on January 10, 2016 to mark a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique will be the focus of the gathering as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
A view of the plaque unveiled by the French president and that reads, 'In memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks of January and November 2015 in Paris , Montrouge and St-Denis - Here the people of France can pay homage' during a remembrance rally at Place de la Republique (Republic square) on January 10, 2016 to mark a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique will be the focus of the gathering as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem pays respect during a remembrance rally at Place de la Republique (Republic square) on January 10, 2016 to mark a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique will be the focus of the gathering as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. / AFP / POOL / YOAN VALAT (Photo credit should read YOAN VALAT/AFP/Getty Images)
A statue making up part of the central Statue of Marianne is seen at Place de la Republique (Republic square) where a remembrance rally was held on January 10, 2016 to mark a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique will be the focus of the gathering as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. / AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather on January 10, 2016 near the illuminated statue of the Republique at the Place de la Republique square during a remembrance rally marking a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique will be the focus of the gathering as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. / AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
A man carries a placard reading "Duty of Remembrance" in front of an illuminated mural which reads "Fluctuat Nec Mergitur", Paris' latin motto signifying "Tossed but not Sunk" after a commemoration ceremony to mark the one-year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher supermarket terror attacks, in Paris, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries held a special ceremony Sunday to honor all those killed in Islamic extremist violence around Paris in 2015 â a year when the European way of life was targeted time and again with deadly consequences. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Two women hold French flags and candles bearing the inscription 'Stand' near the statue of the republique after a remembrance rally on January 10, 2016 to mark a year since 1.6 million people thronged the French capital in a show of unity after the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Jewish supermarket. Just as it was last year, the vast Place de la Republique will be the focus of the gathering as people reiterate their support for freedom of expression and remember the other victims of what would become a year of jihadist outrages in France, culminating in the November 13 coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. / AFP / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
The Place de la Republique is lighted in red after a commemoration ceremony to mark the one-year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher supermarket terror attacks, in Paris, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries held a special ceremony Sunday to honor all those killed in Islamic extremist violence around Paris in 2015 â a year when the European way of life was targeted time and again with deadly consequences. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
People gather in front of the newly illuminated oak tree on Place de la Republique after a commemoration ceremony to mark the one-year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher supermarket terror attacks, in Paris, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries held a special ceremony Sunday to honor all those killed in Islamic extremist violence around Paris in 2015 â a year when the European way of life was targeted time and again with deadly consequences. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Parisians gather in front of an illuminated mural which reads "Fluctuat Nec Mergitur", Paris' latin motto signifying "Tossed but not Sunk" after a commemoration ceremony to mark the one-year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher supermarket terror attacks, in Paris, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries held a special ceremony Sunday to honor all those killed in Islamic extremist violence around Paris in 2015 â a year when the European way of life was targeted time and again with deadly consequences. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
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PARIS, Jan 10 (Reuters) - France honored the victims of Islamist militant attacks last year in a thinly attended silent ceremony on Sunday, almost a year to the day when more than a million people marched in Paris to protest killings at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

President Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo layed a wreath by the statue of Marianne, symbol of the French republic, in central Paris. The statue has become a shrine to the 17 victims of the January 2015 attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish deli, and to the 130 people shot dead by militants on Nov. 13 at a concert, and in bars and restaurants in Paris.

"To the victims of the terrorist attacks in January and November ... In this place, the people of France pay their respect," read a metal plaque unveiled by Hollande and Hidalgo under a newly planted memorial oak tree on Place de la Republique in eastern Paris.

Neither Hollande or Hidalgo spoke at the ceremony, but veteran French rock star Johnny Hallyday, accompanied only by a guitar, sang a song about the march on Jan. 11 last year, which brought out the biggest crowds in Paris since the liberation of Paris from Nazi Germany in 1944.

The French army choir sang late Belgian singer Jacques Brel's "Les Prenoms de Paris" (the First Names of Paris) and "Le temps des cerises," a song associated with the socialist Paris commune movement in 1871, while two young actors read a speech by 19th century writer Victor Hugo.

The huge square in eastern Paris, the focal point of the January 2015 march attended by dozens of world leaders walking arm in arm, was relatively empty during the ceremony.

Hidalgo invited Parisians to come to the square with candles from 1700 Paris time (1600 GMT) and said the Marianne statue - covered with flowers, candles and pictures of the victims - will be permanently lit from now on.

"Paris is scarred, but we are still standing," she told French television after the ceremony.

Hollande, who stood stony-faced through the ceremony, later met with the families of the victims on the square.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said security forces remain on high alert as there is a real threat of more attacks.

"We are facing an extremely high level of threat, higher than it has ever been," Cazeneuve said on iTELE television.

(Additional reporting by Marine Pennetier; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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