By now everyone has heard about the terror attacks in Paris on Friday the 13th of November. 7 coordinated terror attacks happened that night in Paris, taking the lives of at least 129 people and leaving many injured. It was a horrible and sad night for France. In the days following the attacks many investigations and raids took place. Some suspects found, connections made, people arrested. The country tightened their borders and announced 3 days of mourning for those who were killed in the attacks. In light of these events Francois Hollande, the president of France, delivered a speech in Versailles, in front of the upper and lower houses of parliament. He started the speech with “France is at war”.
The whole world was saddened by these events. While the governments are trying to sort out this tragic situation, us, citizens, feel a bit helpless. The only thing we can do right now is to pass on our condolences to those who lost their loved ones and show our support. People across the world have been showing their support is a lot of different ways. Some brought flowers to the French embassy, some lit candles. Social media took a great part in this too, with hashtags #PrayForParis and #PeaceForParis trending on Twitter and Instagram, everyone sharing the image of the poignant Eiffel Tower peace sign created by Jean Julien in reaction to the Paris attacks. Youtube changed it’s logo to a french flag to show support, Facebook offered a french flag overlay option for profile picture for the same reason.
In a lot of countries monuments or historical buildings have been lit up with the tricolor of the French flag to show support.
The London Eye lit up in the colors of the French flag
The San Francisco city hall lit up in support of France
There were, of course, some not so nice people who started blaming the Syrian immigrants. It’s shocking to me that anyone would blame people, who are trying to run away from the war. Why would they want to disrupt peace in a different country? It just doesn’t make sense.
There were also those, too quick to judge and immediately blame all the Muslims. It’s incredibly stupid of people to judge anyone based on their religion. It’s even more stupid to then compare every Muslim to a terrorist. Islam is the second largest religion by number of followers. According to statistics more than 1.6 billion people adhere to Islam. That’s 23% of the world population. Does anyone seriously believe that 23% of Earth’s population are terrorists? That’s completely nonsensical.
Sydney Opera House with the French Flag projected onto it.
However, there’s still hope that those quick to judge and point fingers are in the minority. The sort of worldwide show of support we’ve been witnessing lately gives me hope. It’s nice to see that in such tragic times we can all band together and support each other. Let’s hope that everything will be ok and France perseveres. Speaking of perseverance, the Eiffel Tower has been lit up again, after being shut down after the attack. It’s been lit up in the colors of the french flag in honour of the victims of the attacks. Paris’s motto ‘Fluctuat nec mergitur’, meaning ‘tossed but not sunk’ was also beamed onto a section of the tower. That’s the spirit, Paris. Our thoughts are with you.