“By now, all of our readers are aware of the horrific terrorist attacks which took place in Paris, France on Friday, November 13, 2015.
All of my life I have been an ardent Francophile, having an interest in and appreciation of French culture and the exquisite beauty of the French language; so much so, in fact, that I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in French. As an adoptee, given my strong attraction to all things French, I even wondered if perhaps a large part of my biological heritage was French. But alas, after finding both sides of my original family, I learned that I am not French at all. 🙁
While I have followed the French political scene over the years, not surprisingly, I have not always agreed with every decision the French government has made. However, now is the time to put aside any real or perceived differences and stand shoulder to shoulder with the French people, and in particular les Parisiens. As our American President, Barack Obama, said on Friday evening, “This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”
Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité
What happened in France is so frightening because each and every one of us, especially those of us living in Western countries, knows that the same thing could happen to us. The victims weren’t soldiers, they weren’t in a combat zone; they were just regular people living in a western democracy out having fun on a weekend after a hard week at work or school. They were just doing what normal people do; going to a concert, a sporting event, hanging at an outdoor café watching the people go by (as the French are known to do), and yet out of the blue and for no reason they suddenly lost their lives.
The fact that French intelligence seemingly didn’t have any clues that this was about to happen, and the fact that the military couldn’t protect the people and the police couldn’t, either, scares the living daylights out of most of us. The irrationality and unpredictably of these attacks has everyone at a heightened state of alert. Quelle horreur! Quel nightmare! But as world-famous singer Madonna said during her recent concert in Stockholm, “They want to shut us up, they want to silence us, and we won’t let them.”
Vive la France!
N.B. This post was updated on November 18, 2015