The outline for a tribute to the City of Nice, which will take place one year after the attack, was presented recently. With a concert, parade and emotional events involving the Niçois people.
Reflection, communion, rallies marked by strong movements to honor the values of French Republic: this is the subject of the homage for the City of Nice which will take place on the 14th of July, one year to the day after the terrible attack of the Promenade des Anglais, which killed 86 victims and wounded over 400.
Christian Estrosi, President of the Metropole and first Deputy Mayor, unveiled the outline of the first anniversary with the members of the Memorial Committee and elected representatives gathered in the town hall recently. The tone was grave, solemn, with pain and wounds still present, while announcing the content of the day. Intense emotions “after months of consultation” with the families of the victims. So that in this “martyr city”, the people of Nice, their hearts touched by this attack, can associate themselves with this homage. A year later, this National Day will have different colors and a different intensity as well. And it will take place from 9 to 11 pm between the Place Masséna and the Promenade du Paillon. Outside the Promenade, was “the will of families” and there will be a strong “obligation of security”, justifies Christian Estrosi, so “that no incident will tarnish these great moments of gathering that will be placed under high police protection.” Here are the main highlights.
A fountain and a heart bearing 86 names
A sculpture of commemoration. A provisional one, chosen in agreement with the families, which will unite the fountain used for the national tribute last October and the giant heart made out of plexiglas made up of 86 names, designed by OGC Nice. A work 1.7 meters in height that will be reworked, with an inscription on the body of the fountain of the 86 names, last names and ages of the victims. From mid-May onwards, it will be installed in the gardens of Villa Masséna and will remain there until the installation on the Promenade of the final memorial, by the end of the year, or at the beginning of 2018 at the latest. The memorial day will begin in front of this fountain of memory, anchored in a garden conducive to contemplation. At 9 am, “for whoever wishes”, there will be an ecumenical service by the association Alpes-Maritimes Fraternité.
Tribute and parade
At 4 pm the tribute will be celebrated at the Albert-I Garden, in front of the water mirror, where 1,800 chairs and bleachers will be installed. At 6 pm, Place Masséna will host a military parade. Police, firefighters, doctors, nurses, service agents… These men and women who, during this faithful night on the 14th of July, brought relief by performing care which cannot be forgotten.
1,500 objects for one message
This will be one of the strongest gestures. The Niçois people will play a major role by bringing, from 9 o’clock, an object on the quay of the États-Unis. The purpose will be to form a message, which has not been disclosed yet. 1,500 colored objects put together to form strong words, chosen by the families, which, at 8 pm, will be filmed by a drone. Images taken from the sky of a city that will not forget, a “Nice of solidarity, strength, pride and liveliness” that will simultaneously be retransmitted on the giant screens of the Place Masséna and posted online to the whole world.
Concert and flames of hope
At 9:30 pm, a concert will be performedat the Coulée, behind the water mirror. With the Philharmonic Orchestra, the Choir of the Nice Opera, chorales and an artist, a mystery guest, for a concert of solidarity that will be broadcast again on the giant screens of Place Masséna. At 11 pm, no fireworks. Not in Nice nor in the department, at the request of the Promenade des Anges association. A wish that the mayors of the Alpes-Maritimes heard and relayed. On the other hand, on the beach, at the États-Unis quay, there will be a final emotional event, the lighting of 86 lanterns. These memorial flames will be released by the families. To shine and rise in the sky, like the many flames of hope for a more fraternal world.
He said: “Involving the people of Nice is important”
Pierre-Etienne Denis lost a loved one in the disaster of the Mont Blanc tunnel twenty years ago. President of the National Federation of Assistance for Victims of Collective Accidents and Attacks (Fenvac), he participated in organizing the tribute for the 14th of July, where the people of Nice will be invited to be together with the families of the 86 victims.
“Having seen their city hit by an attack, all the people of Nice were affected. It is therefore important to associate them with this anniversary. As the families also participated in the organization of this homage. It allows them to meet, to discuss. To face the terrible, brutal pain. And the incomprehension too. Unlike road accidents, there are often no trials for terrorist attacks, as the terrorists are often killed. It is after the passage of justice that things are put in place.”