Almost exactly one year to the night that Daesh-affiliated terrorists attacked the Bataclan, killing 89 people, Sting reopened the Parisian concert hall that he first played decades ago as part of his group the Police.
In fluent French, the singer asked the crowd for a moment of silence. He then said: “In re-opening the Bataclan, we have two important tasks to reconcile.
“Firstly, to remember and honour those who lost their lives in the attack a year ago, and second to celebrate the life and the music that this historic theatre represents.
“In doing so we hope to respect the memory as well as the life-affirming spirit of those who fell. We shall not forget them.”
The venue’s VIP area was reserved for survivors and the families of those who were killed there on 13th November, 2015.
One survivor, 25-year-old Aurelien Perrin, who lost his friend Nicolas Berthier in the attack, told the Associated Press about his experience that night and what brought him back to the Bataclan.
“I came alone tonight,” he said. “It’s very emotional, as I keep getting flashbacks of that night. I was standing just there, just the other side of the bar when it happened. Tonight is the first time I’ve been back here since.
“I’m here because it’s important to finally finish a concert that was never allowed to end. It’s for the memory of my friend and for all the 90 people who died,” he added.
Though the concert was dedicated to the people lost that night, Sting also made an effort to include those who share the same religion or ethnic background with the terrorists.
Sting sang the Arabic expression ‘Inshallah’ calling it ‘a magnificent word’ and the room clapped in response.
On 13th November last year, the assailants burst through the music hall’s main entrance and sprayed automatic gunfire into the crowd as the Californian rock band Eagles of Death Metal played on stage.
During a more than two-hour long assault, the attackers killed some victims and took others hostage.
The attack ended after one militant was shot dead and the other two killed themselves by detonating explosive vests. Other gunmen and suicide bombers targeted a soccer stadium and several cafes in Paris. In all, the Daesh militants killed 130 people.