Nous Aimons Paris


This is a more personal post for me, though I write it on behalf of the Humanity Project. I know our Board of Directors will share many of the sentiments I express here. We join the world in mourning the loss of life and the injuries from last week’s terrorist attack in the City of Light. Of course we do … All civilized people feel that way. And we are saddened by the people whose ignorance and hatred spawn such violence. We mourn for them too — for their lost potential, for their lost feelings of our common humanity. They might have done something decent to help others. They didn’t. It is a very sad thing all around, for victims and perpetrators alike. The loss is humanity’s loss. Every one of us suffers as a result of any attack on innocent lives. 

I recall my first visit to Paris when I was 20-years-old, part of a classic hitchhiking-around-Europe thing that was the norm back then. I was utterly enchanted by the city. The great sights, the ambience, the people … I felt intoxicated. I’ve visited Paris a few times since, including during the 50th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. I stayed in Paris for a time before and after covering that 1994 anniversary in Normandy as a newspaper reporter. And I loved Paris all over again.

We all love Paris, don’t we? As they would say in French, “Nous aimons Paris!” Even if we’ve not yet had the chance to drink up the unique atmosphere in person. We love knowing there is a Paris.

Paris will recover from this attack, as will France. As will we all. And in the end, we will win. The terrorists will go the way of all terrorists — into the margins of history. The Humanity Project stands with the people of Paris, the people of France and all the caring human beings that make up the vast bulk of humanity. And those of us at this organization are more determined than ever to do our small part to enhance the humanity we all share.