I want to thank and acknowledge the heartfelt outpouring of emails, texts, and Facebook messages regarding the attacks on Friday night and my safety. They were a great source of comfort when I was feeling scared and vulnerable, and I was touched by your sorrow, sympathy and support.
I was safe at home on Friday night and glued to the television, watching the horrific events unfold on France 24. I finally went to sleep at about 2AM but with much trepidation, as there were updates every few minutes. I woke up early and again felt trepidacious as I turned on the television, as I didn’t know what happened in the past few hours and what the death toll was. I learned that the death toll alone from the Bataclan club was over 100, a massacre of innocent concertgoers just wanting to enjoy some music on a Friday night, along with reports of shootings in restaurants and bars. The death toll now stands at 132 with 352 people injured, 99 of them in critical condition.
So many emotions swirled through my head in the past two days but my rational and practical nature eventually surfaced. Fear, defeat, and sadness gave way to anger and defiance.
I wasn’t going to let the people who did this ruin our city and way of life and Paris would stand strong and do what’s necessary to stop them. If we let them win and don’t stand for our freedom, things will never be right again in France.
I believe most Parisians were shocked and scared like I was but they persevered and yesterday, an unusually warm, sunny day, resilient Parisians flocked to the streets once more, dining, walking, shopping, and conversing on the rue Montorgueil. It looked like a typical Sunday afternoon.
I also wondered if people would still want to come to Paris because they think it wouldn’t be safe. Rick Steves wrote an interesting response to the attacks concerning travel. He said “In 2004, Madrid suffered a terrorist bombing in its Metro, which killed 191 and injured 1,800. In 2005, London suffered a similar terrorist bombing in its Tube system, killing 52 and injuring 700. These societies tightened their security, got the bad guys, and carried on. Paris will, too”.
I am hoping Rick Steves is right.
I don’t know if Paris will ever be the same, but I will personally work my hardest to retain the beauty and spirit of the city.
I will continue to write about all the wonders of this city and country with a new layer of love and appreciation.
There’s probably lots more that I can say, but that’s all I got for now.