The fashionably dressed Italian woman, in skinny jeans and sunglasses, dissolved into tears. A passing Red Cross volunteer enveloped her in a long hug.
The Promenade des Anglais — the gracefully curving seaside boulevard in this Riviera resort city that became a tableau of horror Thursday night when a truck barreled through a celebratory crowd — reopened on Saturday, drawing throngs of mourners who struggled to come to terms with what had transpired there.
People grieved in their own way. Some laid flowers. Some wept. Some simply stood stock-still and hushed.
A toddler of about 18 months, oblivious to the distress around him, was beaming proudly as he carried a single red rose in plastic packaging. It was nearly as long as he was tall, and dragged on the ground.
The sight of the little boy was a chilling reminder that nearly one in eight of the dead in Thursday night’s carnage were children: of the 84 confirmed as killed, 10 were minors, French authorities said. Dozens more youngsters remained hospitalized, some in critical condition.
As is always the case with such events, private grief was also an intensely public spectacle. Those who came to the promenade to pay tribute were surrounded by dozens of journalists with TV cameras and notepads, speaking languages from Swedish to Hindi. Big television trucks were parked in the spot where emergency vehicles had converged on Thursday night as rescuers rushed to help.
Elsewhere in Nice, though, the city reasserted its customary touristic character.
In the medieval streets of the Old Town, cafes were filled with people, and sightseers snapped pictures of graceful old landmark buildings. On the main shopping boulevards, locals and visitors alike toted bags of merchandise.
The city’s usual languid pleasures were punctuated by visible signs of heightened security. At the airport, border guards checked passports of passengers arriving from elsewhere in the European Union, usually a formality-free entry. And amid ancient archways and darting traffic, watchful and heavily armed French troops patrolled in groups of four to six.
Thousands gather on Monday on the Jardin Albert and the Promenade des Anglais in Nice to observe a minute of silence for victims of the deadly attack.(AFP/Getty Images)
The crowd applauds police officers and rescue teams after a minute of silence on the famed Promenade des Anglais in Nice.(Francois Mori / Associated Press)
Ghassan Zaour watches people gathered around a makeshift memorial after observing a minute of silence to honor the victims of deadly attack on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice.(Luca Bruno / Associated Press)
People observe a minute of silence on the famed Promenade des Anglais in Nice, to honor the victims of the attack.(Francois Mori / Associated Press)
People gather in front of a wall of flowers laid on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, where the truck crashed into the crowd during Bastille Day celebrations.(Ian Langsdon / European Pressphoto Agency)
A man scans notices of people missing after a man drove a truck into a packed crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice.(Boris Horvat / AFP/Getty Images)
A woman reacts after learning of the death of a relative at a Nice hospital.(Claude Paris / Associated Press)
A woman walks alone on a deserted beach beside the Promenade des Anglais on July 6, 2016, in Nice, where the truck crashed into the crowd during the Bastille Day celebrations.(Ian Langsdon / EPA)
People hug outside Pasteur Hospital in Nice after the July 14 truck attack that killed 84 people.(Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP/Getty Images)
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is illuminated in the colors of the French flag in solidarity with the victims of the terror attack in Nice.(Christophe Petit Tesson / EPA)
A woman sits under French flags lowered at half-mast in Nice, following the deadly Bastille Day attacks.(GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP/Getty Images)
Police secure the area where a truck drove into a crowd during Bastille Day celebrations, killing scores of people in Nice, France.(Andreas Gebert / EPA)
A forensic expert examines dead bodies covered with a blue sheet on the Promenade des Anglais seafront in Nice, a day after a gunman smashed a truck into a crowd of revellers celebrating Bastille Day.(Boris Horvat / AFP/Getty Images)
People react near the scene where a truck drove through revelers in Nice, France.(Francois Mori / Associated Press)
Crime scene investigators work on the Promenade des Anglais after the truck crashed into the crowd during the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France.(Olivier Anrigo / EPA)
People gather in front of the memorial set on the Promenade des Anglais where the truck crashed into the crowd during the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France.(Ian Langsdon / EPA)
A man holding the French national flag stands near the site of the truck attack in the French resort city of Nice, France.(Luca Bruno / Associated Press)
Flowers placed near the site of the deadly attack on the Promenade des Anglais seafront in the French Riviera city of Nice.(Valery Hache / AFP/Getty Images)
Floral tributes are placed near the site of the truck attack in the French resort city of Nice.(Luca Bruno / Associated Press)
Riot police officers and gendarmes are seen Friday outside the Pasteur Hospital in Nice, France.(Claude Paris / Associated Press)
Police researchers inspect the cab of the truck that crashed into Bastille Day revelers in Nice, France.(Alberto Estevez / EPA)
Roses are attached to a barrier near the scene of the truck attack in Nice.(Francois Mori / Associated Press)
An image grab from the Twitter account of harp_detectives shows people fleeing the scene of the truck attack Thursday in Nice, France.
An image grab from the Instagram account of GA Morrow shows people fleeing the scene of the truck attack in Nice, France.
The truck that plowed through Bastille Day revelers, its windshield riddled with bullets, is examined by forensics officers in Nice, France.(Claude Paris / Associated Press)
Emergency workers tend to a woman injured in the truck attack.
(Olivier Anrigo / EPA)
French President Francois Hollande addresses the nation after the tragedy in Nice.(Associated Press )
Bodies lie on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice after a truck sped into a crowd during Bastille Day celebrations in the southern French city.(Cyril Dodergny / TNS)
Soldiers, police officers and firefighters walk amid bodies covered with blue sheets along the Nice seafront.(Valery Hache / AFP/Getty Images)
A body lies on the ground after the Nice attack.
(Valery Hache / AFP/Getty Images)
People gather near the scene of the attack.
(Valery Hache / AFP/Getty Images)
Police officers and rescue workers stand near a truck that plowed into a crowd of people leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice on Bastille Day. Dozens of revelers were killed.(Valery Hache / AFP/Getty Images)
Ambulances line up near the scene of the attack.(Claude Paris / Associated Press)
A soldier stands guard alongside police officers near the site of the truck attack.
(Ciaran Fahey / Associated Press)
Residents walk with their hands up as police conduct checks.(Valery Hache / AFP/Getty Images)
In this video still, a police officer directs people from a cordoned-off area after a truck plowed through a crowd of Bastille Day revelers.(Associated Press)
Police officers inspect a vehicle after the truck attack in Nice.
(Valery Hache / AFP/Getty Images)
To help traumatized people cope with their distress, the Red Cross set up a walk-in clinic near the scene of the promenade attack, manned by volunteer psychologists. Some 300 people sought succor there the day after the attack, said Bernard Muscolo, one of the volunteering therapists.
One of those who needed comfort, he said, was a 4-year-old boy. Adults didn’t know how to answer their children’s questions or calm their nightmares. And grown-ups were wary of projecting their own fears onto the little ones.
Muscolo, bespectacled with a gentle manner, said those who had been caught up in the attack were confiding to mental health counselors that they felt a chaotic mix of emotions: sadness, anger, euphoria — and guilt — over having survived, hatred for the attacker.
For his part, he tried to reassure them that what they felt was entirely normal.
“When you have an emotion, in order for it to be released, you need to see a value in that,” Muscolo said.
“So the first thing I am telling these people is accept what you are feeling .… It means you are human.”
Harvey is a special correspondent. Special correspondent Erik Kirschbaum contributed to this report.