Richmonders say French culture is strong in wake of attacks

Amour Wine Bistro

RICHMOND, Va. — The River City and the City of Lights may be separated by nearly 4,000 miles, but that is not stopping Richmond from pausing to remember the Paris attacks.

The Byrd Theater in Richmond flew the French flag Sunday to honor those killed.

“A lot of Richmonders love the French culture,” Paul Heitz, who owns Amour Wine Bistro in Carytown said.

Heitz said the support he has received following the attacks has been very inspirational — especially after checking in with his family and friends in Paris.

Amour Wine Bistro

“Everybody’s hurt,” Heitz said. “Everybody’s scared.”

Heitz said people have stopped by his restaurant over the last several days to offer words of encouragement.

Heitz said Richmond hosts the largest French film festival in the United States, which means the support for France is very strong.

“From what I understand it attracts 30,000 people,” Heitz said.

Heitz now wonders what France will do.

 Paul Heitz

Paul Heitz

Professor Faedah Totah with VCU said in addition to airstrikes their will most likely be a discussion over what to do with refugees.

“Even before this there was a concern over taking in refugees,” Professor Faedah Totah said.

“We’re already seeing it right now the tightening of borders,” Totah added.