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Buffalo gathering honors victims of Paris attacks

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The dead and wounded of Paris' terror attacks last Friday were remembered Sunday in Lafayette Square, named for the French supporter of the American Revolution.

Several hundred people were there to plead for France or to remember home communities in that country or to remember where they visited or studied.

On hand was Irish Classical Theatre Artistic Director Vincent O'Neill who once studied and lived where the attacks took place.

"Around the corner was the restaurants where the shootings took place last night. In my day, back in in 1980, it was a kind of a working class run-down area," O'Neill recalled.

"But since, then I visited last year with a French friend of mine, Bernard, who drove me around and it's now become the very, very kind of chi-chi area where the young, trendy people go at night."

Even as he studied with Marcel Marceau in that neighborhood, O'Neill later moved to a more student area in Montmarte.

Honorary Consul Pascal Soares is a research scientist today. but he studied in the vast academic area of Paris' Sorbonne. Soares says Lafayette Square was the right place to be for this memorial demonstration.

"It's the symbol of historical links. It's the symbol of liberty. It's liberty on the French side. It's liberty on the American side. So, yes, it's symbolic. It's all about symbols and being with American friends and the French and it's with somebody," Soares said.

As the event went along, Lafayette Square echoed with the sounds of the French and American national anthems and the French flag and its red, white and blue colors were highly visible in the crowd.