Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a family event in Paris, where I saw the city for what it truly is: architecturally unique, historically rich, and embracing of a peaceful way of life. On Friday, November 13, however, such was not the case for the City of Light, where a restaurant, a soccer stadium, a movie theater, and a shopping mall fell victim to terrorists with an ideology of hate and a message of destruction. More than 100 people have lost their lives to this senseless violence, and ISIS has claimed full responsibility, issuing threats to the people of London, Rome, and Washington D.C.
This was not an attack on one city or one country, it was an assault on the Western world. As British Prime Minister David Cameron said, “These were innocent victims enjoying a Friday night out with friends and family, no doubt at the end of a hard week. They were not seeking to harm anyone. They were simple going about their way of life- our way of life.”
With France now in a state of emergency and its borders closed, the French government is doing all it can to prevent further attacks. But even though the murderers who committed last night’s acts of terror are now dead, the damage is far from over. If Parisians are no longer safe to enjoy a meal at a restaurant, to watch a performer at a concert hall, or to cheer on their soccer team, then where can they go? Surely this cannot become the status quo in our world.
Paris’ motto, “fluctuat nec mergitur” (tossed but not sunk), is rather applicable to present circumstances. The city will recover, and in this trying time, it is imperative that the global community stand united with Paris.