This Friday, January 7, 2022 marks the seventh anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attack. If this terrible episode touched an entire generation, this moment of terror changed the lives of those close to the victims forever. For the occasion, stories, testimonies and tributes come to the surface, in a duty of memory that everyone should stir up. Like that day in September 2020, when the women who shared the lives of the members of the Charlie Hebdo editorial staff were invited to confess before the Paris Assize Court.

While the testimonies more brutal than the others follow one another, the memory took precedence in front of all the emotions which are intermingled. More than five years after the attack on the premises of the satirical newspaper, it was time to tell the story of the women who shared the lives of those who fell under the bullets of the terrorists Chérif and Saïd Kouachi. They were named or called themselves Frédéric Boisseau, Cabu, Charb, Honoré, Tignous, Wolinski, Elsa Cayat, Bernard Maris, Mustapha Ourrad, Michel Renaud, Ahmed Merabet and Franck Brinsolaro. These twelve murdered people were in charge of maintenance, cartoonists, economists, proofreaders, journalists and police officers.

By Charb.

– Charlie Hebdo (@Charlie_Hebdo_) January 7, 2022

Valérie Martinez, “the lover, the mistress and the lover” of Charb

Charlie Hebdo’s five cartoonists and cartoonists have left wives and children behind. And to honor their memory, their families were keen to deliver moving testimonies to the Paris Assize Court. But doing it right is not easy. “To be up to the challenge” and “find the right words”, even less. This is how Hélène Honoré began by evoking memories of her and her dad. That Denise Charbonnier, Charb’s mother, told about her son’s passion for Club Dorothée. That Véronique Cabut of the snippets of the evenings spent with her music lover of husband who misses her so much, with a chuckled laughter by tears which will certainly never stop flowing.

Details for some. Traces that have become indelible for others. This day of homage to those who died for having dared to provoke a religion will necessarily remain as a primordial stage in the mourning of their loved ones. Valérie Martinez, who describes herself as “Charb’s lover, mistress and lover”, who did not like to be defined as being in a relationship, testifies to the moment when her phone vibrated to warn her that she had lost her beloved, while she had dozed off in the TGV bringing her back to her native South. By telling what was on their mind, these women rekindled the flame of those who shared their lives. But seven years have passed, and in the midst of the dozens of drawings displayed on the walls of the court, nothing will ever be able to bring back to them what they have lost forever. “All that for that”, headlined Charlie Hebdo in the aftermath of the massacre. Yes, all that for that.

Charlie Hebdo © Panoramic

Lara T.
Lara T.

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