The gathering downtown on Sunday was among the many vigils held across the globe since the series of terrorist attacks in Paris left over a hundred dead and hundreds more injured Friday night. Many of those signing the condolence book at Sam Houston Park are Franco-American, like Pierre Ferran.
“What is at stake is even our civilization,” Ferran said. “Because our civilization, which is based on respect of life, is jeopardized by these people. And these people are not people; they are barbarians.”
Ferran said this time, it wasn’t an attack on a specific media outlet, like with Charlie Hebdo earlier this year.
“This time, you know, it’s not free speech which has been attacked. It’s the French people themselves,” Ferran said. “And I trust that it will make a lot of our fellow citizens living in Houston and also our American friends to stand and to come and to express our sadness and revulsion about it.”
Stephen Blackmun also signed the condolence book.
“It’s a terrible thing when you have innocent people in Paris going to a concert, at the restaurant, at the bar, going about enjoying their lives,” Blackmun said. “These were ordinary people. It’s an attack on a way of life. It’s intolerance attacking a free people.”