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“America's mayors will continue to stand vigilant against terrorism anywhere,” says Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Following Friday evening’s terrorist attacks in Paris that killed upwards of 130 people, local officials in the United States quickly reacted to show their unified support for the City of Light.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the current president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, released a statement over the weekend on behalf of municipal leaders across the United States:
The mayors of the United States of America stand in solidarity with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and the people of Paris. This was a senseless act of terrorism and our hearts and prayers go out to all of the victims, their families and loved ones. America's mayors will continue to stand vigilant against terrorism anywhere.
Within hours of the attacks in Paris, San Francisco City Hall was illuminated in the French tricolore. The French flag was also raised at San Francisco’s seat of government, a building whose design was inspired by the Hôtel National des Invalides in Paris.
In a statement released Friday, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said:
On behalf of the residents of San Francisco, I express my deepest sorrow for the heartbreaking tragedy unfolding in Paris today. We stand in solidarity with our friends in our sister city of Paris, Mayor Hidalgo and with people all across France as they struggle with the aftermath of this very horrible day. The victims of these senseless acts of violence will remain in our prayers.
In Boston, where memories of the 2013 Boston Marathon and manhunt are still fresh, Mayor Marty Walsh urged his citizens to come to City Hall to sign a book of condolences over the weekend. Like in other cities, Boston flew the French flag at City Hall.
On Friday, Walsh tweeted: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Paris during this time of unspeakable tragedy.”
In Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray joined a gathering at a French bakery in the Belltown neighborhood to show solidarity with the city of Paris. Just like in San Francisco, Seattle City Hall was lit up in the colors of the French flag. A specially made French flag was also raised from the top of the Space Needle.
Public buildings and landmarks were illuminated in the colors of the French flag in cities across the United States, including Nashville—where newly elected Mayor Megan Berry said that “all Nashvillians stand in solidarity” with Parisians—to Kansas City, Missouri, and Philadelphia.
In Long Beach, California, Mayor Robert Garcia joined members of the California State University-Long Beach community at a gathering on Saturday to remember Nohemi Gonzalez, a Cal State Long Beach student killed in one of the Paris attacks.
“We as a city could not be more heartbroken at her loss as well as the loss that other students here of our community are going through and will be experiencing today and the coming weeks,” Garcia said, according to the Long Beach Post.
At a vigil in Washington Square Park in New York City on Saturday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, according to WCBS: “The only answer to terrorism is to be resolute to not allow the terrorists to change who we are. We must refuse to be terrorized.”
(Photo by Paul Guillotel / Flickr via CC BY 2.0)
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty.