Memorial grows outside French Embassy in DC

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Photo: Tom Fitzgerald/FOX 5

There is a growing memorial outside of the French Embassy in Northwest D.C., where flags have been lowered to half-staff and many people have dropped off flowers, candles and even bottles of French wine in tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks.

By Saturday morning, the collection of items left in memory was growing and there was a steady stream of visitors coming to pay tribute. Both the French flag and the European Union flag were lowered to half-staff.

By the gate, people turned out in small groups to place flowers, light candles and say a prayer for the lives lost. On Friday night, FOX 5’s Lauren DeMarco said she saw some women leaving in tears as they walked out of the building. She also spoke with an intern who said he was inside watching the France-Germany soccer game when he first heard news of the attacks.

“People coming from one office to another, saying, ‘Did you see what happened? Did you see what happened? Did you see what happened?’” said Francois Valentin. “Paris is actually kind of a war zone right now. I might be exaggerating a bit, but people are terrified.”

After employees left for the day, a charity event was held at the French Embassy in the evening. Fashion Fights Poverty rented out the space for their annual fashion show. They chose to go on with the event, but a moment of silence was held.

Organizers of the event said the French Embassy took serious measures to increase security, including the visible presence of the U.S. Secret Service and D.C. police.