US lawmakers pay ‘pencil’ tribute to Paris victims

2015-01-21 11:16
US lawmakers hold up pencils during the State of the Union address by President Barack Obama before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Mandel Ngan, AP)

US lawmakers hold up pencils during the State of the Union address by President Barack Obama before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Mandel Ngan, AP)

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2015-01-21 09:02

US President Barack Obama gave his first speech of the year with the Sate of the Union address. Watch. WATCH

Washington - Dozens of US lawmakers paid tribute on Tuesday to the victims of the Islamist attacks in Paris by holding up pencils during President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech.

Democratic Representative Gwen Moore led the show of support in which about 40 lawmakers - mainly Democrats - held up and waved yellow pencils as Obama declared the United States stands "united with people around the world who've been targeted by terrorists, from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris”.

Referencing how the pencil has become a global symbol of free speech in the wake of the brutal attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Moore's office called the symbolic event a "unique opportunity to join our global partners in showing our collective support and solidarity."

Crowds in several cities have taken to raising pencils skyward in memory of the 12 killed earlier this month at the magazine, several of whom were well-known cartoonists.

Read more on:    charlie hebdo  |  barack obama  |  us  |  paris shooting

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