As one nation undergoes tragedy and heartbreak, another comes together.
Last Friday, six different locations in France were attacked, resulting in more than 120 deaths and hundreds of injuries. These terrorist attacks are being claimed by ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and are declared as an “act of war,” French President Francois Hollande said.
In this mode of crisis that the Parisians are in, hearts all over the world are going out to them. Along with concern for their safety, many prayers and tears have been directed toward the nation of France.
Although Paris is going through a time of darkness, it is not alone. Many nations have come together and showed their support for Paris and France, one of them being the United States. We may complain of how our government is falling apart, how racial issues seem to be escalating or the color of a Starbucks cup, but when it came down to it, America forwent our problems to show our love and support for a country in need of a friend. We came together.
For just a few days, it didn’t matter who won the most recent GOP debate, if Kanye and Kim were going to name their baby South West or that Snapchat introduced a new filter. When it really mattered, we showed our support and love through various ways.
On social media, many people tweeted a variety of emotions toward France, ranging from deep concern to hopes of a brighter tomorrow, with the hashtags #prayers4paris and #prierespourparis.
Many nations showed their support by displaying the symbolic blue, white, and red of the French flag on landmarks, such as the Sydney Opera House, the Wall of Jerusalem and the World Trade Center.
There were even special ways Snapchat and Facebook let people support Paris. With a special filter that said “Pray for Paris” on Snapchat and the ability to have your profile picture changed to reflect the French flag on Facebook, people all over the world were united. Even SNL showed its support by forgoing its opening monologue to have Cecily Strong deliver a touching and somber tribute to the victims of the attack, both in English and French.
However, for most of us, the sadness, grief and hope for a brighter future for France puts an array of emotions upon us. We feel grief over the tragedy and feel saddened by the deaths, but we also stand strong with the survivors, the families of the victims, and the country of France.
Many people of many nations lost their lives in these attacks, not just the French. We need not only to pray for France, but also for the world. Nobody was expecting Paris to be attacked on Friday, and that’s probably one of the scariest things to think about.
This attack could have happened anywhere to anyone, which is why some people are so affected by these attacks. Our first-world problems are not a big deal. Arguing about Starbucks trying to take over Christmas is not important.
The attacks on Paris, the uncertainty that this could happen anywhere and the grief that the families of the victims face are real issues.It took a terrorist attack in the City of Love for many of us to forget about our first-world problems.
Even though we are not perfect, America still came together, united, to stand tall and support Paris. And for that, we show hope for not only a brighter future as a country, but also as a world. For France, I pray for you, and know you will see a new and better tomorrow.
Tanesha Bridenback is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.