A week and a half after the Paris attacks, I think that phrase best describes the French people at the moment. This definitely hit harder and was a much bigger shock than the Charlie Hebdo attacks back in January.
For me, in a way this was 9/11 all over again, except this time I wasn’t on the other side of the Atlantic. This time I was just a few hours away. I was actually watching the France-Germany soccer game on TV with my family, and we heard the explosions outside the stadium. Of course, it wasn’t until after the game that we found out that those loud bangs weren’t firecrackers like we’d initially assumed. To be honest, I’d have much preferred it had been firecrackers (even though those things are banned from stadiums for a reason).
I had been prepping a long-overdue blog update earlier in the day and had planned on posting it after the game, but instead I wound up staying up until 3 am following the news. I’m amazed I managed to sleep at all that night, and the next couple of days were hard.
On the plus side, the response from all over the world has been pretty amazing. I had a number of people in the States check in and make sure I was okay, my Facebook feed has been flooded with French flags, and I don’t think I’ve heard La Marseillaise sung so often in a single week. The French are determined to not let this break them, and it’s wonderful to see the rest of the world (well, most of it, anyway) rallying around in support.
That said, I just hope this wave of support lasts more than a couple of weeks. I remember back in January “Je suis Charlie” was everywhere for about two weeks, and a month later it seemed like no one was talking about it anymore. It seems that with the advent of social media trends flare up and die out a lot faster than they used to. The thing is, we’re going to need prayer and support for more than just a few weeks. It’s going to take a while for everyone (particularly those directly affected) to process and deal with what happened, and who knows how long the fight against ISIS is going to last.
I don’t expect the world to revolve around France for the foreseeable future (nor should it – as others have pointed out elsewhere, there are other situations that need attention and prayer as well). Just don’t forget about us, okay?