Amid France's worst violence since WWII, ordinary people lend a hand

Published November 15th, 2015 - 12:21 GMT

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At least eight extremists perpetrated six terror attacks on Friday night in central Paris that left at least 127 people dead and another 350 wounded, many critically. The apparently coordinated assault is being called the worst violence France has experienced since World War II. But amidst the almost overwhelmingly sad news were dozens of acts of selflessness and generosity on the part of regular people who dropped everything to lend a hand to those in need.

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Three teams of terrorists perpetrated six separate gun and bomb attacks at restaurants, bars, theaters and sports stadiums in central Paris on Friday night, leaving 129 people dead and over 350 wounded.
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Image 1 of 13:  1 / 13Three teams of terrorists perpetrated six separate gun and bomb attacks at restaurants, bars, theaters and sports stadiums in central Paris on Friday night, leaving 129 people dead and over 350 wounded.

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Beginning the next morning, hundreds of Parisians lined up to donate blood to victims of Friday’s shootings and bombings. With 352 people wounded -- 99 of them critically -- there was a serious need for transfusions.
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Image 2 of 13:  2 / 13Beginning the next morning, hundreds of Parisians lined up to donate blood to victims of Friday’s shootings and bombings. With 352 people wounded -- 99 of them critically -- there was a serious need for transfusions.

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Residents of Paris also opened up their homes to anyone who needed a safe place to spend the night using hashtags like #PorteOuverte (“open door”) to make their offers easy to find on Twitter. AirBNB users also pitched in with the hashtag #AOhelp (“AirBNB open help”).
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Image 3 of 13:  3 / 13Residents of Paris also opened up their homes to anyone who needed a safe place to spend the night using hashtags like #PorteOuverte (“open door”) to make their offers easy to find on Twitter. AirBNB users also pitched in with the hashtag #AOhelp (“AirBNB open help”).

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Soon, the trend spread to other countries in Europe like Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom, where vacationing Parisians were stranded when French authorities closed Charles de Gaulle airport.
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Image 4 of 13:  4 / 13Soon, the trend spread to other countries in Europe like Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom, where vacationing Parisians were stranded when French authorities closed Charles de Gaulle airport.

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It wasn’t long before such offers spread to other continents. In America, the hashtag #strandedinUS went viral as people all over the country began offering their homes to stranded Frenchmen.
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Image 5 of 13:  5 / 13It wasn’t long before such offers spread to other continents. In America, the hashtag #strandedinUS went viral as people all over the country began offering their homes to stranded Frenchmen.

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On Paris's Rue de Charonne, where at least 18 people were shot dead at the Belle Equipe cafe, a Dutch university student and her roommates told The Guardian that they donated sheets and blankets to police to use in covering the bodies of the dead.
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Image 6 of 13:  6 / 13On Paris's Rue de Charonne, where at least 18 people were shot dead at the Belle Equipe cafe, a Dutch university student and her roommates told The Guardian that they donated sheets and blankets to police to use in covering the bodies of the dead.

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A German musician named Davide Martello rolled a piano to Paris's Bataclan theater, where over 100 people were massacred by terrorists, and played “Imagine” by John Lennon for the crowd outside. The song’s lyrics were particularly apt: “Imagine there’s no countries/ It isn’t hard to do/ Nothing to kill, or die for/ No religion, too.”
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Image 7 of 13:  7 / 13A German musician named Davide Martello rolled a piano to Paris's Bataclan theater, where over 100 people were massacred by terrorists, and played “Imagine” by John Lennon for the crowd outside. The song’s lyrics were particularly apt: “Imagine there’s no countries/ It isn’t hard to do/ Nothing to kill, or die for/ No religion, too.”

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Cities around Europe started lighting up their monuments in the colors of the French flag as a show of solidarity with Paris. Here’s Trafalgar Square in London.
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Image 8 of 13:  8 / 13Cities around Europe started lighting up their monuments in the colors of the French flag as a show of solidarity with Paris. Here’s Trafalgar Square in London.

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1 World Trade Center in New York City, also known as “The Freedom Tower,” illuminated its spire to show support for France.
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Image 9 of 13:  9 / 131 World Trade Center in New York City, also known as “The Freedom Tower,” illuminated its spire to show support for France.

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Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat took the idea and ran with it -- here are the Old City walls lit up super French.
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Image 10 of 13:  10 / 13Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat took the idea and ran with it -- here are the Old City walls lit up super French.

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The trend quickly spread to the Far East. Here’s Shanghai, China’s largest city, paying tribute.
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Image 11 of 13:  11 / 13The trend quickly spread to the Far East. Here’s Shanghai, China’s largest city, paying tribute.

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Other cities around the world -- like Berlin, Toronto and Sydney -- soon followed suit.
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Image 12 of 13:  12 / 13Other cities around the world -- like Berlin, Toronto and Sydney -- soon followed suit.

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If you’re looking for ways to help the Paris terror attack victims and their families, donate to the French Red Cross (Croix-Rouge francais), which has over 340 volunteers providing aid to those hurt in the assaults. You can donate here: www.ammado.com/nonprofit/crf
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Image 13 of 13:  13 / 13If you’re looking for ways to help the Paris terror attack victims and their families, donate to the French Red Cross (Croix-Rouge francais), which has over 340 volunteers providing aid to those hurt in the assaults. You can donate here: www.ammado.com/nonprofit/crf

Enlarge

1

Three teams of terrorists perpetrated six separate gun and bomb attacks at restaurants, bars, theaters and sports stadiums in central Paris on Friday night, leaving 129 people dead and over 350 wounded.

Image 1 of 13Three teams of terrorists perpetrated six separate gun and bomb attacks at restaurants, bars, theaters and sports stadiums in central Paris on Friday night, leaving 129 people dead and over 350 wounded.

2

Beginning the next morning, hundreds of Parisians lined up to donate blood to victims of Friday’s shootings and bombings. With 352 people wounded -- 99 of them critically -- there was a serious need for transfusions.

Image 2 of 13Beginning the next morning, hundreds of Parisians lined up to donate blood to victims of Friday’s shootings and bombings. With 352 people wounded -- 99 of them critically -- there was a serious need for transfusions.

3

Residents of Paris also opened up their homes to anyone who needed a safe place to spend the night using hashtags like #PorteOuverte (“open door”) to make their offers easy to find on Twitter. AirBNB users also pitched in with the hashtag #AOhelp (“AirBNB open help”).

Image 3 of 13Residents of Paris also opened up their homes to anyone who needed a safe place to spend the night using hashtags like #PorteOuverte (“open door”) to make their offers easy to find on Twitter. AirBNB users also pitched in with the hashtag #AOhelp (“AirBNB open help”).

4

Soon, the trend spread to other countries in Europe like Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom, where vacationing Parisians were stranded when French authorities closed Charles de Gaulle airport.

Image 4 of 13Soon, the trend spread to other countries in Europe like Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom, where vacationing Parisians were stranded when French authorities closed Charles de Gaulle airport.

5

It wasn’t long before such offers spread to other continents. In America, the hashtag #strandedinUS went viral as people all over the country began offering their homes to stranded Frenchmen.

Image 5 of 13It wasn’t long before such offers spread to other continents. In America, the hashtag #strandedinUS went viral as people all over the country began offering their homes to stranded Frenchmen.

6

On Paris's Rue de Charonne, where at least 18 people were shot dead at the Belle Equipe cafe, a Dutch university student and her roommates told The Guardian that they donated sheets and blankets to police to use in covering the bodies of the dead.

Image 6 of 13On Paris's Rue de Charonne, where at least 18 people were shot dead at the Belle Equipe cafe, a Dutch university student and her roommates told The Guardian that they donated sheets and blankets to police to use in covering the bodies of the dead.

7

A German musician named Davide Martello rolled a piano to Paris's Bataclan theater, where over 100 people were massacred by terrorists, and played “Imagine” by John Lennon for the crowd outside. The song’s lyrics were particularly apt: “Imagine there’s no countries/ It isn’t hard to do/ Nothing to kill, or die for/ No religion, too.”

Image 7 of 13A German musician named Davide Martello rolled a piano to Paris's Bataclan theater, where over 100 people were massacred by terrorists, and played “Imagine” by John Lennon for the crowd outside. The song’s lyrics were particularly apt: “Imagine there’s no countries/ It isn’t hard to do/ Nothing to kill, or die for/ No religion, too.”

8

Cities around Europe started lighting up their monuments in the colors of the French flag as a show of solidarity with Paris. Here’s Trafalgar Square in London.

Image 8 of 13Cities around Europe started lighting up their monuments in the colors of the French flag as a show of solidarity with Paris. Here’s Trafalgar Square in London.

9

1 World Trade Center in New York City, also known as “The Freedom Tower,” illuminated its spire to show support for France.

Image 9 of 131 World Trade Center in New York City, also known as “The Freedom Tower,” illuminated its spire to show support for France.

10

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat took the idea and ran with it -- here are the Old City walls lit up super French.

Image 10 of 13Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat took the idea and ran with it -- here are the Old City walls lit up super French.

11

The trend quickly spread to the Far East. Here’s Shanghai, China’s largest city, paying tribute.

Image 11 of 13The trend quickly spread to the Far East. Here’s Shanghai, China’s largest city, paying tribute.

12

Other cities around the world -- like Berlin, Toronto and Sydney -- soon followed suit.

Image 12 of 13Other cities around the world -- like Berlin, Toronto and Sydney -- soon followed suit.

13

If you’re looking for ways to help the Paris terror attack victims and their families, donate to the French Red Cross (Croix-Rouge francais), which has over 340 volunteers providing aid to those hurt in the assaults. You can donate here: www.ammado.com/nonprofit/crf

Image 13 of 13If you’re looking for ways to help the Paris terror attack victims and their families, donate to the French Red Cross (Croix-Rouge francais), which has over 340 volunteers providing aid to those hurt in the assaults. You can donate here: www.ammado.com/nonprofit/crf

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