Bonjour Maman, bon 14 juillet! That’s how my phone call went to my mother as she was describing how beautiful the parade on television for Bastille Day was and how happy she felt that the day seemed to have gone smoothly.
A few hours later I got another phone call from her. Surprised, I picked up and said you are not sleeping? She said: C’est affreux ! Un camion a renversé des gens sur la Promenade des Anglais à Nice après le feu d’artifice (it’s horrible! A truck drove on the « Promenade des Anglais » in Nice and killed people as they were going home after watching the fireworks).
My jaw dropped…
A Family Culture
There are so many things I worship about France (history, cinema, art, traditions, craftsmanship etc.) and I thank my mother for passing that heritage on to us. One of the things I like is how celebrations like the 14th of July known as Bastille Day gather the entire family together (for those who like to celebrate it). It’s the French National Day and a multi-generation celebration from grandparents to parents to kids to newborns everyone enjoys this popular moment and it’s strong and fun. For example, for the recent Fête de la Musique, we were in Alpes de Haute Provence with some friends and it was celebrated on the main square of the village; St-André les Alpes. That little square has a church; 2 bars with terraces; 2 restaurants and the mairie (town hall). It has cobblestones and a DJ comes to play old and new tunes for the night. Kids and parents dance (at least the ones that are the least shy) and others watch them sitting on chairs sipping wine or a beer. It’s a very nice and simple moment. It’s light and relaxing. It reminds me of Ronce-les Bains near la Rochelle in Charente – Maritime where we used to go on vacation with the mobile DJ that was coming once a week on the main square. A must go for my sister and I!
Those attacks are so scary and hurtful because they pop out of nowhere. Why? Always, why? I’m for peace and love and believe that it is the way to go but something needs to happen. Is it because of French actions in Syria? Is it because there was a lack of integration over the years? A lack of education and support in the suburbs?
Those people who behave in such way are clearly sick. To kill innocents, children, symbols of love, and to do so on Bastille Day…It clearly goes beyond anything rational I can think of and it certainly doesn’t speak to higher intelligence but to a very wild and caveman behavior.
I think about all the symbols they’ve attacked recently and the overall word that they can’t seem to stand : Liberty.
Rest in peace poor innocent souls & little angels
I feel for these families who were broken. For these kids. It’s heartbreaking. 84 killed, 10 being children and 300 injured.
I pray for Nice, pray for France, pray for the world.
Je suis Charlie / I am Charlie
Je suis Paris / I am Paris
Je suis Orlando / I am Orlando
Je suis Bruxelles / I am Brussels
Je suis Istanbul / I am Istanbul
Je suis Nice / I am Nice
Nous sommes et nous resterons / We are and will remain us. How do you like them apples?!
I’m hopeful for the world that we will win against Isis, mental illness and work on integration.
Bastille Day will never be the same.
With love, Caroline