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Expressions of solidarity for France in red, white and blue

Social media was awash Saturday in the red, white and blue of the French flag as people worldwide expressed their solidarity with a nation in mourning in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris.

Users of Facebook shaded their profile pictures in the French Tricolor, and on Twitter and Instagram, people posted vacation photos, teardrops and a peace symbol with the Eiffel Tower inscribed in the center as they expressed their grief over the carnage.

People also harnessed the power of social media in the search for their missing loved ones as Parisians desperate to get in touch with family and friends missing since Friday’s wave of gun and bomb attacks posted heart-breaking messages and photos under the hashtag #rechercheparis — Paris Search.

Scores remain unaccounted for in the aftermath of the coordinated attacks on a rock concert, a soccer stadium, bars, restaurants and other popular nightspots that killed at least 129 people.

“Waleed is missing,” read one post. “We last contacted him at the match, Please share & contact me if u have any info. #rechercheParis.”

“I’ve been looking for my cousin since last night,” read another. “He’s 25 and 1m75. He’s called Younes. #rechercheParis.”

The photos and messages garnered hundreds of retweets from users eager to help in the search for survivors.

Across the globe, people joined in to offer sympathy and share a nation’s pain. Many posted the poignant video of the Eiffel Tower — the beacon of the City of Light — going to black in memory of the dead.

Some of the world’s most recognizable buildings and monuments — the Sydney Opera House, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio, One World Trade Center in New York, the Mexican Senate — were shaded in the colors of the French flag.

Sports teams also expressed their solidarity. The Washington Capitals splashed the red, white and blue of the Tricolor across the team’s ice rink before Friday night’s game against the Calgary Flames. “The National Anthem is playing, but tonight our thoughts are with Paris,” a caption on the Capitals Twitter feed read.

The images and sentiment, shared under the hashtags #prayforparis or #parisattacks, mirrored the outpouring of emotion that followed the Charlie Hebdo attacks 10 months ago.

One of the most shared was a peace symbol by Jean Jullien, a French graphic designer living in London, that showed a stark image of the Eiffel Tower rising in the center of a peace sign.

Jullien said the design came to him by simple association of Paris and peace.

“I was overwhelmed that so many people used it,” he said in an e-mail to the Associated Press. “It’s a communication tool for people to share their solidarity. It’s a message for peace.”

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

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