Lighting a candle and dreaming of peace
On Friday 13 November in 2015, 130 people were killed as the result of a series of coordinated terrorist attacks. Suicide bombers and heavily armed gunmen attacked a football match at the Stade de France, cafés and restaurants in central Paris, and a music concert at the Bataclan theatre.
Violence has more impact the closer you are to it. If you can imagine that it was yourself being attacked - your family, your friends, your home - then the violence is more shocking, more terrifying.
I have friends who live near rue Alibert in Paris. I’ve been for drinks at Le Carillon - this was the restaurant precinct that was attacked by the gunmen. On a Friday night, that vibrant corner of Paris would have been buzzing with young people excited to be out with their friends. I could visualise the people in those bars and restaurants, I could visualise the horror and chaos if armed gunmen suddenly started shooting into this crowded area.
One of the worst things about an attack like the 13th November attack on Paris, is that it leaves you feeling powerless. What can we do to show our empathy with the people of Paris, our outrage at the attack on France, our determination not to let terror win? Not much.
Social media channels are a useful outlet for a cathartic sharing of emotion, but ultimately we are collectively strengthening our resolve to face whatever forces are trying to disrupt the lives that we have built for ourselves .
Three years on, and the world seems somehow more uncertain than ever.
The sad reality is that terrorist attacks are taking place in some shape or form around the world on what seems to be a daily basis.
Since that November 2015 attack on Paris, there’s been no shortage of attention-grabbing atrocities. There’s so many that it becomes a bit overwhelming, but it seems incredibly disrespectful to somehow forget that they happened, to forget the people that were killed just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Terrorist attacks are a powerful reminder that our history is defined by war and violence - peace is not guaranteed, we must work together to create the world in which we live.
Terrorist attacks are also a reminder that each moment we have with our family and friends is precious and must be treasured.