Tonight, I can’t sleep. Tonight, I am coming to you with tears in my eyes and a heart that is breaking. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m currently reading a book detailing the events of one of the most well-known American tragedies of our time, or simply because I can’t fathom how this keeps happening. I really can’t. I don’t care about your political views or your opinions on gun control, today’s (yesterday’s) events in Paris should never, ever happen.
Just a few days ago, I sat with a large number of people and spent the morning honouring those who put their lives on the line to protect my country. We were reminded of the sacrifice that were made by the soldiers of WWI , and the sacrifices that continue to be made every day, so that we can live a happy, healthy life under the protection of these brave men and women. We remembered the fallen and showed our respect for those currently serving, and the whole time, I was overwhelmed by how lucky I am to live in this great country. The attack in Ottawa last year shook me in a unique way. The feelings of fear and helplessness I experienced while watching the news coverage, surrounded by my coworkers, are not anything I ever want to feel again. However at this point I’m sure that I will again in the future. I couldn’t believe that it could happen in Canada – my Canada.
As a human being, I feel so violated when I hear about these terrorist attacks. Every person has the right to feel safe, and when cowards like those today (yesterday) in Paris threaten that safety, it destroys us as people a little more. We only get one shot at this “mankind” thing, guys – we can’t waste that shot killing each other. Hatred and evil is found in cowards and villains, but bravery and love is found in each of us, and it will always win – that’s not something that only happens in fairy tales.
Because I am, always have been, and always will be a silver lining kind of person, I’m desperate for some kind of positive message or sign of hope to come out of this, and thanks to Hank Green, I have one. Tonight, there was one act of terrorism in Paris, but tonight, the great majority of acts in Paris were out of heroism and love. There will always be heroes, helpers, and those who put their lives on the line for the sake of others. These are the people that mankind will always need, and I am forever thankful that they exist.
While I love seeing countries unite in the wake of senseless and unnecessary tragedies like these, I wish it …lasted longer. I wish we as people would learn, take these experiences and somehow, create a plan to eliminate terrorism and hate. I’m not smart enough to create that plan. I don’t have the answers, obviously. But I believe they’re out there. Terrorism will never destroy democracy, and while it may take a chip out of us sometimes, terrorism will never destroy mankind. We cannot – and will not – let it.
Tonight, we stand with Paris. Tonight, we are all Parisians. Ce soir, nous sommes tous Parisiens.