Photographer Peter Turnley Reflects on Rally in Paris

CNN published photos and comments from the photojournalist on the topic recent events in France.

Yesterday, CNN uploaded a video featuring photojournalist Peter Turnley commenting on a unity march held on January 11th in Paris with a slide-show of his photos.

“I’ve lived in Paris for 40 years and have covered many of the most important international news stories of these past several decades. On several occasions today tears came to my eyes as I heard the voices and songs of the largest rally in French history since liberation of Paris.

Today France spoke with a unified voice to say “No” to terrorism and “Yes” to freedom of speech, liberty and democracy. In the crowd of two million faces one could see people of all backgrounds, ethnic groups, religions, and walks of life. And together on many occasions they collectively shouted: Vive La France!

I’ve seen places like Berlin, Beijing, Prague, Bucharest and South Africa, the power of people when they stand up and hold hands and take a stand for what is right. Today the French stood together with millions of voices and hands together to express their pride in values of freedom and love for each other and for the country, and for life itself. Today’s rally offers a vision for an entire world in the recent days of tragedy and terror of how beautiful and wonderful life could be life when people stand together and against violence and in defense of freedom.

I have lived for more than half of my life in Paris, having arrived myself when I was 19 years old, and today like millions of others around me I was Charlie and my heart was French. Vive La France!”

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