I wasn’t feeling well on Friday night so I was fast asleep at 10 pm. About twenty minutes later my Nexus tablet started vibrating as it does each time someone posts on my Facebook page. Annoyed, I got up and put the tablet in the other room. Then, at about 10:45pm, I got a text. I saw that it was from my friend, Heather, who lives back in the States:
“Just catching the news. Are you okay?”
Confused, I quickly texted her back to let her know I was fine, and then logged onto my computer to try and figure out what had happened. The news was spotty but it was pretty easy to figure that Paris was under attack, that dozens of people who were guilty of doing nothing more than enjoying a Friday evening out were dead. Everyone was ordered off the streets. A curfew was put in place. Paris was in lock down.
Right now, I am a Parisian. I am living and working here. So, much like when I was in New York for 9/11, this was an attack on MY city. And all I could think as I watched the news reports and messaged friends that I was okay was “How dare they.”
And again, much like NYC after 9/11, I find myself loving Paris even more now. There is no place in the world I would rather be today. Paris may be bleeding. Paris may be weeping. But Paris is still Paris. I feel privileged to be here to mourn with the rest of the city, to show the world and, most importantly, the terrorists, that they can’t break us. That liberté, égalité, fraternité is far stronger than religious extremists who hide behind guns and bombs.
I am angry. I am sad. But what I most decidedly am NOT, is afraid.
Je t’aime, Paris.