It was a Sunday afternoon this past January as two friends and I walked along Boulevard Richard Lenoir in Paris, France. We happened upon a small alleyway that was crowded, but silent. It was the location of the Charlie Hebdo offices.
We were spending a few days in Paris only two weeks after the deadly terrorist attack on the magazine’s office in which 12 people were killed. I remember seeing signs in the makeshift memorial that included cringeworthy photos of the airplane striking the South Tower in the events of 9/11. The poster included a caption saying how the world stands together in the face of terrorism. Once again we must stand with Paris as their city is struck by the second deadliest terrorist attack since 9/11
The Bataclan Concert Hall is located five blocks from the Charlie Hebdo offices. A six minute walk. I remember walking through that same neighborhood and thinking how peaceful it was as it was set off from many of the tourist attractions. It was a calm neighborhood amidst a bustling city. The night before, friends of ours studying abroad in Paris at the time told us that the neighborhood, filled with grade-a restaurants and nightclubs, was perfect for a weekend night out. Unfortunately, the weekend night of November 13th, 2015 is a night that Parisians and human beings around the world will never forget after a string of terrorist attacks left at least 128 people dead and countless more physically and emotionally scarred.
Back in Boston, the Celtics held a moment of silence prior to their Friday night game against the Atlanta Hawks. I got goosebumps during that moment of silence as a million thoughts went through my mind. The Bataclan Concert Hall could have easily been the Paradise Rock Club in Allston, the Le Petit Cambodge restaurant could’ve been Sunset Cantina, and the Stade de France could’ve been the very TD Garden I was sitting in.
Tough to think about much else for the time being as my thoughts and prayers are with all the families hurt by this tragic event and the countless Parsians for whom life will never be the same. It is time for the world to rise up again as we support our brothers and sisters.