PARIS (AP) — The son of the first victim among 130 people killed in coordinated attacks in Paris a year ago Sunday said his Portuguese-born father was the symbol of integration that is the key to healing the stigmatization that drives some youth to violence.
President Francois Hollande unveiled a plaque “in memory of Manuel Dias,” pulling away a French flag covering it on a wall at one of the entrances to the French national stadium, where he was killed on Nov. 13, 2015, by Islamist extremists.
Hollande is also unveiling plaques honoring the victims at the bars and restaurants in Paris and the Bataclan concert hall, which reopened on Saturday night with a concert by British pop star Sting.
Hollande remained silent at the somber ceremony, and Dias’ son Michael addressed the crowd of officials, saying his father was “living proof that integration is possible, necessary” to end the madness of violence carried out by those who felt excluded.
He said that learning to live again after extremists killed his father was “a personal challenge, but it concerns us all.” He credited the life lessons of his father, who came to France at 18, and stressed the need to gain an education.
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