Saturday, 14 November 2015

Je t'aime Paris

Today is such a sad day, even the weather here reflects the somber mood, I can't help but want to write it down. I have wanted to visit Paris for so many years and when we booked our trip there in summer I was so excited. My youngest son Ruben was pretty apprehensive after what had happened in Paris in January of this year. In fact he really did not want to visit, I reassured him that something like that was highly unlikely to happen but I know he worried about it whilst we were there.

Acts of terrorism are something our children are having to grow up dealing with, it is a very sad fact of modern life and there really seems to be an end to it in sight. Although, I reassured him that nothing would happen I would be lying if it didn't cross my mind whilst we were there. But whilst we were there we felt so safe. Something which we have discussed this morning in the aftermath of the horrific, sad and unimaginable events of last nights attacks. Armed police and soldiers were around every monument in Paris and when we crossed the road one day we had to stop as several heavily guarded police, trucks and cars came flying past at top speed with sirens and police with huge guns hanging on the side. It was a bit of a scary moment but just made us feel that the police and army had a real presence, I've never seen that in any other city we have visited.

This morning when I read the news on my phone at 6.30am I sat and cried, I feel so sad for all those poor people who were going about their lives on a Friday evening. The idea that you can be enjoying a meal or a concert and be gunned down is just to much to imagine. It could have been any of us in those places, I walked round those streets with my husband and children, I saw how crammed the sidewalk cafes and restaurants can be, I'm taking my youngest daughter to her first music gig in a few weeks, that could have been us in that concert hall. I feel guilty for telling my son it would be okay.

Only yesterday morning I saw a photo of someone stood in the same spot near the Eiffel Tower where we stood in June and said to my hubby "I'd love to be there again at this time of year, it must be beautiful in Autumn". I couldn't wait to go back but now I'm questioning how I could take my children to a place where this is a risk. I am responsible for their safety and how can I tell my son he will be okay when so many people have lost their lives? I hate to think I wouldn't go anywhere because of terrorists, that means they've won and I don't like the idea of that. I will go back but I won't take my children. In fact, I'm questioning anywhere at the moment, last weekend we visited London on a very busy Sunday, if that had been tomorrow, I wouldn't be going. We planned on having another trip down before Christmas but I just can't do it.

When we were in Paris I took this photo of the Eiffel Tower view from the peace wall, its a special wall of glass that had words written on it in different languages and was mentioned in the guide book. When we saw it however, it was really vandalised and fenced off, something which seemed ironic for a wall of peace. But now I think how accurate it was. There is no peace. Everyday innocent people are being killed all over the world in suicide bombings and we can do nothing about it. It's our government that make decisions on these things whether we agree to it or not. Innocent people are innocent people wherever they are in the world, whether news stations choose to show their stories or not its still happening. I can't help wondering where it will end.

My heart goes out to all the people caught up in the horrible events of the past 24 hours

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