This column from reporter Jake Tapper first appeared at CNN. We reprint here:
“Thank you,” said the man. I was standing outside of the offices of Charlie Hebdo covering the aftermath of the terrorist attacks for CNN. He was thanking me just for being here, just for covering the event and its aftermath, what Le Monde referred to as France’s September 11. And his appreciation was echoed by French citizen after French citizen.
The rally Sunday for unity drew 1.5 million people in Paris and more than twice that nationwide; it was like nothing I’ve ever seen or covered. Our nation’s oldest ally stood firm. A young Muslim Frenchwoman held a sign saying “Je suis Juif.”
A man and his son came over to me holding a sign saying “I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” beseeching me to share their message with the American people. And world leaders were standing together amidst a procession that included Francois Hollande of France, Angela Merkel of Germany, David Cameron of Great Britain, Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, along with the leaders of Mali, Jordan and Turkey.
Read the rest of the story at CNN.