Paris memorial to be held for policeman who died in Trèbes attack

A memorial to Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame who died after offering himself in exchange for a woman being used as a human shield in an attack last week

After inspecting troops at the monument as a military band played a stirring rendition of the French national anthem, the Marseillaise, Macron posthumously awarded Beltrame the Legion of Honor, France's highest award. Beltrame was taken to hospital in a critical condition having been shot and stabbed.

On Saturday, police officer Arnaud Beltrame, who was the first to respond to the attack, died from sustained injuries, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said in a statement.

Addressing mourners during a ceremony at the Hotel Les Invalides, French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the fallen officer, saying that Beltrame symbolised "the French spirit of resistance".

"At the moment of the final goodbye I offer you the recognition, the admiration and the affection of the whole country", said Macron. "Others, even many who are fearless, would have wavered or hesitated".

The president also said that "while the name of his murderer is already being forgotten, the name of Arnaud Beltrame will always represent French heroism".

The move to make preschool obligatory is meant to help children in French overseas territories and in poor communities on the mainland remain competitive in the education system, Macron said.

But we are at least able to seek great inspiration from Beltrame's actions to save lives, which essentially ask the opposite question: how great can be the bond between one man and another? "We will win thanks to the resilience and calm of the French people and by the cohesion of a united country". Amid near-universal praise, Beltrame, a former military member and decorated Iraq War vet, was buried on Monday in a national ceremony with military honors.

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Macron, the 40-year-old who swept to power last May promising to transform France into a "start-up nation", wants to avoid seeing France and Europe fall behind Chinese and U.S. giants such as Alphabet's Google, Microsoft and Alibaba in this area.

Earlier, a minute's silence was observed in all police stations across France and flags were lowered to half-mast on public buildings.

He earlier opened fire at a group of off-duty police, seriously injuring one, and shot dead a man when hijacking a auto in the nearby town of Carcassonne.

Instead, Lakdim shot Beltrame and slit his throat.

In a message addressed to Bishop Alain Planet of Carcassone and Narbonne, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to all those affected by a terrorist attack that left four people dead and 15 injured on 23 March.

Beltrame's brother Damien said his last act, putting his own life on the line to help others, was typical of him.

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