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Kansas Citians Join In Solidarity With France After Terrorists Attack Paris

Cody Newill
More than 100 joined together at Liberty Memorial to show their support for France after terrorist attacks in Paris left 129 dead and hundreds more injured.

More than 100 Kansas Citians and French nationals joined in a gathering of solidarity at Liberty Memorial Sunday to show support for France after terrorist attacks killed more than 120 people in Paris.

Residents held French flags, signs and flowers of blue, white and red as Honorary Consul of the French Republic Cyprienne Simchowitz spoke over a microphone.

"It's difficult to know what to say or what to tell you all," Simchowitz said. "We're still under shock, but we're all united. We'll just all do our best to play our part."

Credit Cody Newill / KCUR
Honorary Consul of the French Republic Cyprienne Simchowitz addresses the crowd, many of whom were French nationals living in Kansas City.

Kansas City councilman Scott Taylor also spoke at the gathering, condemning the attacks.

"Kansas City is a global city and we stand with Paris today," Taylor said. "It's difficult to discuss what happened in Paris ... but it was a despicable act however you look at it."

Alliance Française Kansas City President Patrick Raymond helped organize the gathering and says the last few days have been a whirlwind of emotion.

"The biggest thing for me is to show that France matters," Raymond said. "I think it's important that we demonstrate that in a public way at an institution that is meant to symbolize peace."

The crowd held a moment of silence for those killed in the attacks Friday and sang "La Marseillaise" in remembrance. 

The Kansas City Council is expected to pass a resolution Thursday showing its support for France. Taylor says several buildings, including Union Station, City Hall and the Marriott Hotel, will be lit up in blue, white and red Sunday evening.

Cody Newill is a reporter for KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @CodyNewillor send him an email at cody@kcur.org. 

Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.
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