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Presidential ceremony honors Paris attack victims

PARIS - Under grey skies in the winter cold, the families of the victims gathered to remember loved ones who died in the attacks two weeks ago.

The orchestra played the French national anthem, "La Marseillaise," as President François Hollande arrived at Les Invalides to lead the ceremony.


On a giant screen in the courtyard, the photos of the 130 victims scrolled by -- photos taken in happier times: smiling faces, posing by the Eiffel Tower, or on a night out with friends.

The families were joined by France's political leaders and members of the emergency services on duty throughout the night of November 13, exactly two weeks ago.

All stood as the names of those who died were read out -- Fabrice Dubois, 46; Cédric Mauduit, 41; Charlotte Meaud and Emilie Meaud, 29, twin sisters killed on the terrace of Le Carillon -- and so many more.

They died in six different places -- a concert hall, a football stadium, and restaurants and cafes -- as Parisians enjoyed a Friday night out.

President Hollande paid tribute to them all and promised their families, "We will be by your side.

"They were killed because they represented life, and France," he said, condemning the attacks as "cowardly."

"We will not give in to fear nor to hatred," he told the gathering.

The ceremony at Les Invalides was the only one officially allowed -- public gatherings are banned under the national state of emergency.

But that couldn't stop dozens of Parisians coming together in their pain at the makeshift shrines to the dead at the sites of the attacks.

They stood in silence by the Bataclan concert hall, outside le Carillon restaurant, or at the Place de la Republique, where fresh flowers are laid daily and candles still burn to say, "We will not forget you."

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People holding French flags gather outside the Invalides during a ceremony honoring those killed in the Nov. 13 attacks, in Paris, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. AP Photo/Thibault Camus