Patrick Pelloux (right), a journalist at Charlie Hebdo, is embraced by Renald "Luz" Lucier (left), a cartoonist at the magazine.
CNN  — 

Central Paris became a marching ground for world leaders and thousands of people taking a stand against the three terror attacks that began with the shooting at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters.

Named by government officials as a “march of unity,” crowds of people, many with banners bearing the unifying slogan “Je Suis Charlie,” gathered near the Place de la Republique amid heightened security. Here are a few highlights from the event.

Many were taken aback by the show of solidarity.

Leaders who joined French President Francois Hollande included Germany’s Angela Merkel, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Spain’s Mariano Rajoy, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Queen Rania, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

British Prime Minister David Cameron took to Twitter to express his support.

French police were on high alert, standing guard among the dignitaries.

CNN crews were also present to capture the moments.

But it wasn’t just a Parisian affair; people took to the streets in other parts of France, as well as cities across Europe.

The Paris rally seemed peaceful and orderly - a stark contrast to the horrific events of last week, sending out a strong yet dignified message on the world’s stance against terror.

Sun breaks through the clouds over the Paris unity march.
A little girl holds up a sign while sitting on the shoulders of a man at the Paris unity rally.