First of all, Sandy and I would like to share our deepest sympathies for the victims, their families, and the citizens of Paris and France. The events that unfolded last evening in Paris were horrific and will again, act as a reminder of a war engulfing our world. The fact that eight twisted individuals (that’s the number of assailants being mentioned at this time by official sources) can bring a city like Paris to its knees is extremely disturbing to me as I hope it would be to you. For those of us who experienced the days of 9/11, this is certainly a déjà vu experience—at least it is for me.
I am encouraged by the response of the international communities and their leaders. The number one responsibility of a government is to keep its citizens safe. David Cameron, the Prime Minister of England, has made the statement “We in the UK face the same threat.” He is spot on. It will happen again.
Paris and its citizens will bounce back just like we did following the attacks in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania more than 14 years ago. It will take time. Let’s hope these attacks and the ultimate sacrifice of the victims do not get forgotten. Let’s also hope the global community responds in ways that will eradicate the poison that flows through the blood of these groups responsible not just for this horrendous episode but other acts of atrocities being perpetrated around the world (the recent beheading of a nine-year-old child in Afghanistan is only one of many, many examples).
Sandy and I adopted Paris many years ago and it pains us to see these events unfold in the city of lights. We visited New York City four weeks after 9/11 (our son was a student at Columbia University). We could see the stunned look in everyone’s eyes. The makeshift memorials brought on tears. The sacrifices were staring you in the face. That will happen in Paris.
Yes, we visited New York City that weekend in October 2001 to see our son. But it was also a trip to help support the city at a time when they needed to show the world that things can not come to a complete stop because of the actions of a few.
Sandy and I are looking forward to visiting Paris soon.
Copyright © 2015 Stew Ross