Nous Sommes Avec Vous

Notre Dame’s destruction is a loss for the entire world.

Notre+Dame+Cathedral+in+the+heart+of+Paris+March+14.
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Nous Sommes Avec Vous

Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris March 14.

Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris March 14.

Cecilia Mohacsi

Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris March 14.

Cecilia Mohacsi

Cecilia Mohacsi

Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris March 14.

Cecilia Mohácsi, Print Editor-in-Chief

Notre Dame Cathedral has been through centuries of history, revolutions and two world wars, and yet the event that left the global icon in ruins was a devastating fire that blazed in the heart of Paris as the world watched in shock.

My heart sank as I received a text from my dad to “check the news,” but the last thing I thought I would see in the headlines is the devastating event that took place yesterday. I gasped as I read that Notre Dame was engulfed in flames and took in the images just minutes before the spire collapsed. I immediately thought back to when I visited this stunning landmark just one month ago and couldn’t believe the destruction unfolding before me.

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Notre Dame is one of France’s most prized possessions, and the fear that eight centuries of history and culture could be gone in a matter of hours was felt all over the world. A French and Catholic treasure, the church stood strong, protecting the stunning architecture and priceless works of art housed inside for over 850 years. Its significance stretches far beyond its national and religious roots, uniting the world despite differences in beliefs. Millions of people from all over the world visit this stunning cathedral each year, making it the most visited site in Paris.

It didn’t go completely unscathed for this period of time, having survived small fires and breaks in the famous stained

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glass windows that were repaired through the years. However, nothing was as calamitous as the fire that ravaged Paris today.

I remember being so excited to visit Notre Dame as I approached the distinct towers and facade with my family over spring break. After taking four years of French and learning about French culture and history in class, I couldn’t really

Cecilia Mohacsi
The inside of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, facing the altar March 14.

believe I was seeing it in person. I was in awe of the beautiful, vividly colored stained glass windows and the impressive arches that curved high above me. All I could think about was how someone could possibly build something so intricate and impressive, and now I regret not taking more photos from my time there. I’m so sad that so much of this is lost or significantly damaged; however, there’s a silver lining in every situation because a number of statues were saved since they were removed for the renovations that were underway.

A tragedy like this is shocking on its own, but it comes at such a bad time too in the middle of Holy Week and it’s less than a week until Easter. The large Catholic holiday and Holy Week services attract worshippers to the cathedral for prayer every year but unfortunately, the celebrations will not be as joyful this week.

It will take time to rebuild and recover from this tragedy, but the world is with you, France. Nous sommes avec vous.

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