Opinion: Solidarity with France


The attacks on the people of France, though tragic, will not destroy the spirit of perseverance or Parisian way of life.

The Islamic State coordinated six attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, killing 129 people and injured 352 through shootings and bombings.

French President Francois Hollande announced a state of emergency and that France’s borders will be shut down effective immediately that same night.

World figures around the world, such as President Obama, have given their condolences to France, and the tragedies that have plagued it, describing this as an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.”

I, as a journalist, cannot believe what has transpired from this horrific series of events.

This was sheer brutality at the hands of a group making a political statement through violence.

We as Americans look in awe, sadness and disappointment at the victimization of one of our allies, similar to the events of 9/11.

While it is difficult to compare the events of 9/11 to the Paris attacks on Nov. 13, it can be said that the gravity of both incidences has and will affect our countries in a profound way.

According to Associated Press, France has not seen an attack of this caliber since World War II.

Their morale right now must be the lowest it has been since Charlie Hebdo, where on Jan. 7, 2015 Al-Qaeda gunmen shot and killed 11 and injured another 11 employees of the French satirical newspaper.

They must be living in fear of more attacks in other major French cities.

As scared, as they are that more of their citizens’ lifeless bodies will be scattered on city boulevards, the last thing they should do is show fear.

If France cowers, and shows Islamic State that they are afraid of the damage they do, then IS wins.

They cannot show fear, they have to be strong, and they have to persist.

Of course they are afraid.

They risk civilian casualties; losing all they know and all they love.

But they will not show them that fear.

France will rise up, look terrorism, extremism, and death itself in the eyes, and say: “Enough is enough.”

During a soccer match between France and Germany, outside of the Stade de France, where they were playing, three suicide bombers exploded, two outside of the stadium after being denied entrance, and the third across the street.

President Hollande was present, yet was evacuated at halftime.

The game continued, and all were afraid, already knowing what transpired.

But as French fans left, they started to sing “La Marseillaise”, the French national anthem.

They sang for their country.

They knew their home was attacked and that she was not in the best of conditions.

By singing “La Marseillaise”, they showed that their spirit, and her spirit, was not going to be destroyed.

Their emotions ran cold, but their hearts were anything but.

For now they mourn, and will remember the catastrophe that has occurred onto France.

Heads will lower and moments of silence will be given from Lyon to Saint-Etienne to Nice, back to Paris.

Yet France, as has all other countries affected by terrorism, will recover, and stand stronger than ever before.

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