The Eiffel Tower lighted up in rainbow colors of the red, white and blue of the American flag, in solidarity with the victims of the Orlando attack. People flocked in by the hundreds for a memorial ceremony to pay tribute to those who were killed in the shooting.
“Paris is with Orlando. Tonight, the Eiffel Tower will be illuminated in LGBT colors in homage to the victims,” Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, tweeted. City hall will also fly the US flag, the Stars and Stripes, as well as the rainbow flag, Hidalgo said, expressing her ‘compassion, solidarity and affection’ for the American people after the massacre.
On Monday morning, Paris Councillors observed a minute of silence for the victims of the nightclub attack, in which 50 people were killed.
The French football team also tweeted a message of support, along with a picture of a ribbon combining the colours of the US and rainbow flag of the gay community.
“Sometimes football counts for little. Thoughts for #Orlando,” said the team which is among 24 competing at the Euro 2016 championships in France, adding in English “Together we stand.”
There was a similar global show of solidarity with the French after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November. Monuments from One World Trade Center in New York to the Sydney Opera House in Australia were lit in the colours of the French flag in solidarity.
The planned tribute in Paris is one of many vigils world-wide, including in Australia, UK and Germany. The vigils honor the LGBTQ community and those who lost their lives and sustained injuries at the gay nightclub, Pulse, where the shooting took place. The attack on Pulse left 50 dead and many wounded.
In New York, the lights of the Empire State Building were turned off as thousands attended a memorial event for the Orlando victims.
In Berlin, more than 100 people gathered outside the US embassy to light candles, lay flowers and wave rainbow flags.
A vigil was also held in London’s Soho district, the hub of the city’s gay community. 49 balloons were released, one for each of those who died.
Australia’s landmark Sydney Harbour Bridge was also lit up in the rainbow colours of the gay community flag as hundreds gathered to pay tribute.
Vigils have been held in Orlando, Florida. Thousands of people gathered in Central Orlando holding candles and flowers in tribute.
Imam Muhammad Musri, a Muslim cleric of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, said the attack had been ‘an act of terror, an act of hate’. “We condemn the ideology of hate and death and destruction and we call for all Muslim leaders and communities across this nation and across the world to stand up and to deal with this cancer and to remove it once and for all,” he said.
US authorities say gunman Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to so-called Islamic State (IS) shortly before the attack.
Several Pulse customers have told US media that Mateen was a regular visitor to the nightclub. “Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,” Ty Smith told the Orlando Sentinel.
President Barack Obama is due to travel to Orlando on Thursday to pay his respects to the victims.