Usually, I enjoy sharing news about France. But the happy news has been overwhelmed by the sad news.
It it lost on nobody that the attack in Nice happened on the day France celebrates its liberation from tyranny.
As we went to the Bastille Day fireworks in Carcassonne, I gave our kid instructions about what to do in case…we got separated. I wasn’t even disappointed when we were turned away from the bridge, with the best views, because it already was full. I had feared it would be a tempting target. There were arrests about a month ago related to suspected plans for an attack during the Carcassonne fireworks.
But the city’s streets overflowed with people, to an extent I had never witnessed. Officials expected 500,000. Carcassonne’s normal population is not even 50,000.
The restaurants of Place Carnot were packed. We ate outside. #enterrace. Couples danced to old bal musette tunes, played by a live band. Même pas peur.
Then everybody decamped for la Cité and the big show. People walked calmly. Even after fireworks began, there was no pushing. Politeness and civility reigned. I felt utterly safe, not even worried about pickpockets, not even after the street lights were extinguished. Going back home, some sang–silly songs, la Marseillaise. I got goosebumps and felt an overwhelming love for all this humanity.
In Nice, people did the same things–dining en terrace, oohing at the fireworks. Même pas peur. Except that before they could get home, the bright lights of their lives were extinguished.
Our heart goes out to them and their families.