PARIS - At another time, it would have been a glorious tour of Paris by night. But for the saddest of destinations.
President Obama landed in Paris just before midnight Sunday and his motorcade took on unexpected route along the Seine. He rode past the Eiffel Tower, the French Assembly building, the Bastille. Then, he arrived at the Bataclan.
The American president strode purposefully toward the shuttered French concert hall where terrorists wrought so much horror two weeks ago.
Obama, French President Francois Hollande, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo walked side by side to a makeshift memorial. Each added a single white rose to the collection of remembrances, paying tribute to the 130 people who died in terrorist attacks in the city on Nov. 13.
The attacks, which saw three teams of suicide bombers and gunmen struck across Paris, beginning at the national stadium - where Hollande was among the spectators - and ending in the storming of the Bataclan concert venue, were the worst on French soil since World War II.
On a cool and clear night, the three leaders bowed their heads for a long moment of silence.
And then Obama was gone, ready to turn his focus to the climate change conference that brought him to France.