Hampton tree lighting turns into moment of silence for Paris

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – As thousands around the world spend time remembering the lives lost on Paris, France some in Hampton Roads also paused to reflect.

The Peninsula Town Center was packed Saturday night. Hundreds of joyous families gathered for the annual Christmas tree lighting. However some were there for another, more somber reason.

“Unfortunately I am going to invite you to share a minute of silence,” Chloe Garrison told the large crowd.

For a few seconds the crowd paused. Garrison told 10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings, “It means that we are not alone.”

The impact of the Paris attacks extends beyond its borders.

“I just logged onto French news and just started crying basically,” Laura Hann said. She moved to the United States two years ago. The news of what happened at home is hard to accept.

“It’s just devastating. There is honestly no word to express it. I was just watching TV last night with my husband when my mom starting texting me saying what was happening,” Hann said.

Garrison founded an organization to support the French living in Hampton Roads. She organized Saturday’s gathering.

“Today I started to feel anger and sadness,” Garrison said.

Although small in numbers, the group is strong in spirit.

“We are all here together and we will make it through together,” Garrison said.

Regardless of the strength that will come, the tears Chloe Garrison shed as she sang the French national anthem summed up the sentiments shared by many.

We expect there to be many more remembrance events in Hampton roads in the coming days. 10 On Your Side has learned of a candlelight vigil planned at ODU Monday night.


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