The world is one today. With sadness.
UPDATE—The iconic towers of Notre Dame Cathedral have been saved!
The fire at Notre-Dame cathedral sucked the air from my lungs as I heard the news from a phone message. James had lived in Paris as part of his studies at Middlebury College in Vermont. Many a time he had been to “Our Lady”, the iconic symbol of the beauty and history of Paris. He has often talked about attending the funeral for French President François Mitterrand at the cathedral.
Today that place known the world-over is mostly gone and as I post late on Monday afternoon the spire is gone, and while brave firefighters are trying to safe something of the remaining structure, the French Interior Minster has warned that they were not certain of being able to save anything more.
As I commented with a woman via Facebook in Paris who has been a part of our world-wide family, and others spread across this country one thing is most clear. Today we are all Parisians.
We can be of any religious stripe, and reside anywhere on the face of the earth, and still feel this loss in our gut. What has been lost is a grand historical marker to our humanity. This was far more than bricks and mortar. Inside the walls were paintings, glorious stained glass windows, religious artifacts, and the architecture of an age now gone.
We have lost a huge slice of history today. It is most sad.