- Title: France's Hollande awards medal of honour to Dammartin survivors
- Date: 29th September 2016
- Summary: DAMMARTIN-EN-GOELE, FRANCE (SEPTEMBER 29, 2016) (AGENCY POOL) (FROM LEFT) PRINTING HOUSE OWNER WHO WAS HELD HOSTAGE BY CHARLIE HEBDO ATTACKERS, MICHEL CATALANO, STANDING NEXT TO FRENCH PRESIDENT, FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, APPLAUDING (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, SAYING: "I wanted to come back here to show that there was a symbol, a symbol of barbarism where, several months ago, the assault against these terrorists by police forces took place. And also a symbol of what the human will is capable of doing. " SIGN FOR CATALANO'S PRINTING HOUSE (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, SAYING: "We can see that terrorism is everywhere and that we must fight, fight with strength when necessary, I'm talking about military strength. Fight also with the mind, with ideas, with culture, with arts to show what humankind is and that it must repel hatred and intolerance. Here are all the messages you send here, from this printing house." HOLLANDE ON STAGE AS CROWD APPLAUDS HOLLANDE AWARDING MEDAL OF HONOUR TO CATALANO PRINTING HOUSE FORMER EMPLOYEE, LILIAN LEPERE, WHO HID IN THE UPSTAIRS CANTEEN FOR EIGHT HOURS FROM THE CHARLIE HEBDO ATTACKERS / HOLLANDE HUGGING AND SHAKING HANDS WITH LEPERE / HOLLANDE AWARDING CATALANO WITH MEDAL OF HONOUR / HOLLANDE HUGGING AND SHAKING HANDS WITH CATALANO LEPERE, CATALANO AND HOLLANDE STEPPING OFF STAGE TO APPLAUSE INTERIOR OF RENOVATED PRINTING HOUSE PRINTING HOUSE EMPLOYEE AT WORK CATALANO SPEAKING TO JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (French) PRINTING HOUSE OWNER WHO WAS HELD HOSTAGE BY CHARLIE HEBDO ATTACKERS, MICHEL CATALANO, SAYING: "I cannot forget what happened because even today when I come back inside this building, it's actually difficult. Strangely, people cannot understand. There are times when it's hard so it's a constant struggle against myself but it's a battle I've fought for 20 months to show that even when we have a significant trauma, because it remains a significant trauma, and this I say all the time because it's important, there are hard times but I know we can overcome them and it's really the image I want to give because these are difficult times. That's why I'm so moved because it's been very hard. I was still here at 1 a.m. (2300GMT) this morning decorating the building because for me it was important it look nice. It's important that we..." / CATALANO CRYING PRINTING HOUSE EMPLOYEES AT WORK
- Embargoed: 14th October 2016 12:02
- Keywords: Dammartin-en-Goele France Charlie Hebdo Francois Hollande Said Kouachi Cherif Kouachi Islamists Michel Catalano printing house
- Location: DAMMARTIN-EN-GOELE, FRANCE
- City: DAMMARTIN-EN-GOELE, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,International/National Security
- Reuters ID: LVA00151MCTVR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: French President Francois Hollande awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, the French medal of honour, on Thursday (September 29) to the survivors of the Dammartin-en-Goele standoff between police and the Charlie Hebdo newspaper attackers at a printing house north of Paris.
Lilian Lepere, a former employee of the printing house and graphic designer, hid in the upstairs canteen of the building for eight hours while owner Michel Catalano was taken hostage.
Police cornered the escaped Charlie Hebdo gunmen, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, who tried to hide inside the printing house and killed them that same afternoon.
Charlie Hebdo, known for its satirical covers ridiculing political and religious leaders, lost many of its top editorial staff when two Islamist militants broke into an editorial meeting on January 7, 2015 and fired bullets at them.
Another militant murdered a policewoman the next day, took hostages at the HyperCacher supermarket on January 9, 2015 and killed four of them before police shot him dead.
The attacks prompted a worldwide solidarity movement, with the "Je Suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) slogan going viral on social media.
Earlier in the day Hollande unveiled a plaque at the newly rebuilt printing house after it was partly destroyed during the stand-off.
Catalano said he was still deeply affected by the events but would continue his everyday "battle".
"I cannot forget what happened because even today when I come back inside this building, it's actually difficult. Strangely, people cannot understand. There are times when it's hard so it's a constant struggle against myself but it's a battle I've fought for 20 months to show that even when we have a significant trauma, because it remains a significant trauma, and this I say all the time because it's important, there are hard times but I know we can overcome them," he said.
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