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Photo Essay: Même Pas Peur

Not even a little bit afraid. 

This was the sentiment shared, in English and in French, on Saturday, Nov. 14, at a vigil following the terrorist attacks in Paris. Just the night before, members of a militant extremist group planted bombs that killed 131 and injured many more. The vigil lasted for several hours as hundreds stood in hushed silence in Lafayette Square, the crowd dotted with candles and posters proclaiming peace.

A deep silence filled the air when hundreds gathered before the White House in solidarity with Paris.  

Valentine Pétit, a French National, held her sign high. It read: “Friends from the whole world, thank you for #prayforParis, but we don’t need more religion! Our faith goes to music! kisses! life! champagne and joy! #Parisisaboutlife.” 

“There is much talk of prayer and religion, but for me, at the moment, we do not need more religion,” Pétit said. 

“For right now, it's better to keep focus on the spirit of Paris.”

Pétit holds her sign, designed by a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist, in response to the Paris attacks.

People of all nationalities gathered to honor the victim of the Paris attacks.

Amanda Ruberto, a Canadian national, summarized the mood perfectly. "When tragedy like this happens, whether you know the people or not, it still affects your heart in a deep way, no matter how far across the world," she said. 

A sign pinned to a tree reads "meme pas peur." Translated directly, the phrase means "Not even a little bit afraid," but colloquially, it has a more defiant edge—a "hit me with your best shot" feel that conveys a sense of determination to conquer hate and fear. 

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