This week France has been recovering from the catastrophic events of last weekend in Paris. François Hollande declared three national days of mourning to allow the reeling citizens of the republic to attempt to come to terms with the tragedy which had struck. There are many eloquent and thought provoking responses that have been written, as well as messages of hope and humanity. Whilst I don’t feel politically knowledgable enough to share an analysis of the situation, I would like to share the sense of bravery and love which I have experienced over the past few days.
On Monday I attended a minutes silence on my university campus at midday. The silence amongst the hundreds gathered felt more powerful than any words that could have been spoken at that time. As the silence came to an end, no one moved and instead gentle clapping rippled through the crowd. It was a respectful tribute to the lives lost and an encouragement for France to continue living by its national slogan of ‘Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité’.
On Wednesday I went to the theatre and slotted inside the program was a powerful message of defiance in the face of terrorist attacks which threaten our way of life, specifically defending our ability to gather in public places.
This week has been filled with an overwhelming amount of love and generosity in response to the attacks, both in day to day life and on social media. In my eyes, every moment of sadness, reflection and love is for every life lost and every person who suffers. Solidarity and compassion alone will strengthen us as a global society.