Friday the 13th of November, started as a good day. But before it came to it’s end, it ended worse than anyone wants to imagine a Friday the 13th.
On Saturday, I expressed my shock, but I tried to quickly move away from the darkness. I did so by writing about all the things that happened on Friday, but also about other terrorist attacks that happened in the past. I even dove back into old essays I wrote on terrorism at university. Initially I had panned to share my writing today, but like a letter that is never sent, this relieved me a lot and might not need to be shared.
I thought about why the events from Friday night impacted me more than others, after all Paris was not the only city hated by terrorists that day. And I came to the realisation that often times we are more touched, if we have been to the place where the atrocities take place.
I was very much moved by the events of 9/11, I had been to New York the week prior, and I had a year before visited the twin towers. My dad was meant to take a plane that day, but ended up driving to half of the US to get home.
I was shocked and shaken by the London bombings in 2005, but as I had never been to London before, and knew no one there, the shock lingered for only a short moment. And I was immersed in the news day in day out as I was interning at a newspaper in Berlin Germany.
I only vaguely remember the events that happened in Madrid. Being absorbed in my daily routine at school, and never having been to Madrid either, I was far less exposed to these events.
And now a terrorist attack has happened at a place that is in the city where I live, I don’t even have to change metro lines to get to Republique. What happened in Paris on Friday happened close to home.
So why is Paris important? Paris is in the heart of the Western world, it is a city known for its liberties. It is considered to be the city of love. It is a city that attracts tourists every day. This attack, was an attack on freedom, on Western and European values. It was an attack on people enjoying life.
Still it does not make any other terrorist attack happening in the world less shocking, sad or unacceptable. It is just that Paris is located a free and safe country where civil rights and liberties are important. Paris is a city that is loved, that people dream of, that people carry in their hearts.
Now anyone who says that Europe’s gates need to be closed to no longer let refugees come in, should think again, and again! Because the people, the families, the children who arrive every day, who risk their lives do so to escape exactly what happened on Friday. Their cities, towns, and villages do not offer the same type of security as we have here and that going outside to live life has become impossible, it is too dangerous. You might want to read this eye opening article on the refugee crisis The tip of the iceberg by M. L. Kappa.
© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.