During the night, the face of The City of Lights was changed. For much of the world, Notre Dame symbolizes Paris and indeed, France. As my home is located on the Mediterranean, I relied on the photos in my local morning journal (newspaper).
Like many, I had been forwarned last night by the internet. But seeing what is available on my computer or television cannot compare to the stunned faces I encountered this morning. One neighbor retired barber, extended a near usual morning greeting. However, today, his cheeks were streaked with tears. While this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this marks a National, European and even World Wide loss. Without a doubt, she has been one of the top visited locations in France.
Having lived here for nearly twelve years, I’ve witnessed loss and mourning in my village. This is different. It is a loss shared by the entire nation and beyond.
Television, radio and the internet will be filled with photos and stories for some time. No doubt, efforts will be made to restore the cathedral as close as possible to its former glory. Lost art and relics have left a space for new treasures that will try to capture some of her past and a glance toward the future.
While the nation is grateful for what was spared and the fact there was no loss of life, there is also the deep sadness for what is gone.