France
French President Francois Hollande (C), Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo (L), Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas (2R) and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve pay respects after unveiling a plaque in Paris on November 13, 2016 (AFP Photo/Philippe Wojazer)

By Andah John with agency reports

President Francois Hollande Sunday unveiled a plaque in memory of a man killed by suicide bombers at the Stade de France.

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It was part of the commemorations for the first anniversary of the Paris attacks in 2015.

Manuel Dias, 63, died outside the national stadium where France were playing Germany in a football match during the first attack of a series on the evening of November 13, 2015, that killed 130 people.

Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo went on to unveil plaques at bars and restaurants in the trendy neighbourhood where gunmen from the Islamic State group sprayed bullets at revellers enjoying a Friday evening out.

The final ceremony was to take place at the Bataclan, the concert hall where 90 people were killed by three attackers.

France
French President Francois Hollande (R) speaks with a victim after unveiling a commemorative plaque outside the Stade de France stadium, in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on November 13, 2016, during a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the Paris terror attacks. 130 people were killed on November 13, 2015 by gunmen and suicide bombers from the Islamic State (IS) group in a series of coordinated attacks in and around Paris. PHOTO: PHILIPPE WOJAZER / POOL / AFP

Many weep as Sting performs

Rock superstar Sting reopened the refurbished Bataclan with a hugely symbolic show on Saturday.

“We will not forget them,” the British singer told the crowd in French after a minute’s silence for the victims.

“Tonight we have two tasks to achieve: first to remember those who lost their lives in the attack, and then to celebrate life and music in this historic place,” he said.

Sting began the emotionally charged concert with his song “Fragile”, singing: “Nothing comes from violence and nothing will.”

Many in the crowd wept during the first song, before the more upbeat “Message In a Bottle”.

“I’ll send an SOS to the world,” he sang. “Only hope can keep us alive.”

Some survivors in attendance

Among them was Aurelien, who had been determined to return to the scene of so much horror.

“It’s the first time I’ve been in a public space for a year. I haven’t been to the cinema, to a concert, I get my shopping delivered. I’ve always stayed at mine,” said the man in his thirties, who did not want to give his full name.

“Tonight I’m taking my life back like it was before. It’s a duty, there’s an obligation to be here — because there are 90 people who can’t come anymore,” he added, visibly moved, his hands trembling.

The Bataclan’s co-director said he had prevented two members of the US group Eagles of Death Metal — who were on stage when the bloodshed started last year — from entering the Sting concert over controversial remarks by their lead singer Jesse Hughes.

“They came, I threw them out — there are things you can’t forgive,” said the venue’s co-director Jules Frutos.