Paris attacks must never be forgotten

Photo by Susanna Kemp/Sagamore Staff

Photo by Susanna Kemp/Sagamore Staff

 Sonia Wiecek

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I love Paris. I’ve never been there; I have never been anywhere in France. But I still love it.

What I love about Paris is the culture. It’s a melting pot of many countries cultures, not just

Francophone culture. There are people there, called flâneurs, who literally just walk around. All they do all day is admire the beauty of Paris. There are so many people and so many stories all in one city.

They are not all just the rude Parisians who walk around with a baguette and a beret as the stereotype might suggest. They are the Africans who come from Senegal and Algeria, they are the Vietnamese whose great-grandparents might have spoken French, and yes, they might be the French that carry baguettes and wear berets. But they are each their own person, and they all contribute to Parisian culture in their own way.

Obviously the attacks in Paris were horrific. It demonstrated to citizens that no one is safe. Instead of the terrorists just attacking the media or the politicians, like they did with the Charlie Hebdo attack, they attacked normal citizens. These people were just enjoying dinner,listening to a concert or watching a soccer game. They were not writing an exposé on ISIS or ordering the military to attack them. They were just citizens enjoying their normal life, when ISIS tragically ended these normal lives.

But we cannot show the terrorists that we are afraid, for that means they have won. If we live in constant fear that something like in Paris that might happen to us, we are not really living.

Paris is known as the City of Light. They did not succumb to ISIS’s agenda and become the City of Darkness or the City of Death. They are the still the City of Light, and even more so now.

What I love about Paris is it response to the attacks. They came together as a giant community. Instead of turning people away, they had a hashtag, called #porte ouverte (open door.) This helped people find a place to stay after the attacks.

The next day people were out and about, drinking with friends and just living. That’s what makes Paris different. They did not decide to stop living, even in a time of crisis. They kept living, and they kept being France.

As French President Franҫois Hollande said in his speech in his response to the attacks, “Vive la République, et vive la France.” I agree, Mr. Hollande. Long live the Republic, and long live France.

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