MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hundreds of people took to the streets of downtown Minneapolis on Sunday to show solidarity with France.

They marched through downtown Minneapolis, waving French flags, on their way to a prayer service at the Basilica of St. Mary. For many, it was a way to express their grief and to show support for a country that’s hurting right now.

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Along with scores of Minnesotans of French descent, there are about 3,000 French citizens living here, according to Alliance Francaise, which organized the march.

“It’s very similar, I think, to September 11th. Thinking this is a nightmare, this isn’t happening. This can’t be happening,” Christina Pierre said.

Over the past few days, it’s become all too real as they’ve had to watch from a distance.

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“We stayed glued on TV all night long. The telephone started ringing from everywhere to find out if anyone in my family had been wounded, hurt, and so far so good,” Pierre said.

Here, in this walk down Hennepin Avenue, they finally had a way to connect with others and express their sorrow publicly. Many in the crowd have loved ones living in France or other personal connections.

At the Basilica, Congressman Keith Ellison, a Muslim, told the crowd that the actions of ISIS were wicked and demonic. He said he joins in their sorrow.

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“The goal of the terrorist is to make you turn on your neighbor. But we will never do that. We’ll stand together. We’ll stand strong,” Ellison said.