Tuesday, 13 January 2015

London's Solidarity with Paris

Tower Bridge lit up at night
London's Tower Bridge lit up in red, white and blue

On Sunday 11th January 2015, London showed its solidarity with Paris following a traumatic week there. The history of our two great nations has been closely tied for centuries - both in peace and in times of war. Today, our two capitals are peaceful trading partners within the European Union. A large French population lives and works in London. Many French residents congregated in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Their numbers were not as high as those who marched in Paris on the same day. They still held up the same French banners for freedom of expression.

"I am Charlie" and "Ink must flow, not blood".
"I am Charlie" and "Ink must flow, not blood" banners

A number of other nationalities were also present in solidarity. On the pavement in front of the National Gallery, there were chalk flags from numerous other nations, alongside the French flag and Union Jack. The atmosphere was friendly and many age groups were represented. The Metropolitan Police even assisted in taking photographs.

A great cheer went up just after 4pm. Lights projected the French tricolour onto the front of the National Gallery. The crowd broke into the French national anthem, La Marseillaise. The square's fountains spurted alternately in red, white and blue lighting.

London's famous Tower Bridge was also lit up in solidarity with the French. The colours alternated between red, white and blue from 4pm to 5.30pm. Then the lights went out, leaving the iconic bridge in darkness.

I travelled from Trafalgar Square to Tower Hill to "Little France" in South Kensington. I saw the French flag projected onto the National Gallery. My day ended by seeing an English film about the National Gallery projected at the French Institute's Ciné Lumière. The culture of two nations intertwined.

Karen Andrews runs
Anglicity Ltd. She is
an entrepreneurial
French to English
translator, editor,
content writer and
marketing consultant.
She has a keen interest
in the French language
and French culture.

Contact: karen@anglicity.com for further information on Anglicity's services.

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