Aftermath of the Paris Terrorist Attack
One week after the Paris terrorist attack, on a rainy Friday, I came to Place de la République to give flowers and candles to the victims. There set many tents for journalists around the square, and there were police constantly guarding the area.
Most of the candles were off by the raindrops. Only one or two are lit up under some plastics. On the statue, one can still clearly see the posters from January, the protest of the Charlie Hebdo attack. Many came to give a flower, as many others took a bow.
Many wonder how has Paris changed after the attack. Before explaining how much Paris has changed, I would like to say that there is absolutely a drastic change to the city. However, I think the change will not be permanent, nor has 911 has changed the lives of New Yorkers permanently.
Right after coming back to Paris on monday morning, I immediately noticed more police around the city. My luggage was being checked at Porte-Maillot right after the police checked my passport at the airport (they usually don’t do that for travelers within the Schengen Zone.) Paris got colder after only a week, the leaves were almost all fallen down, and the sky was covered with thick clouds. I got home at noon, and it was a relief to see my host family again ( I called right after the attack to ensure their safety.) Throughout the week, I have seen passengers on the metro being much more vigilant and nervous. There’s often absolute silence, many seem to be zoning out or facing down, still grieving from the attack.
Streets are more empty; nobody seem to be going out except for work and school. On Wednesday morning, the investigation in Saint-Denis caused the metro line 13, which is the one I take every morning, to stop. It reopened at around 9 a.m., after the search had ended. I was brave enough to take it, but there was barely anyone in the metro, in comparison to the usually packed line 13 during rush hours.
Paris, the everyday vibrant city, all of a sudden became quiet and gloomy. But it can’t stay like this forever! Starting yesterday, I have noticed that our brave Parisians went out to cafés, bars, shopping centers, transit hubs and restaurants like always. Parisians slowly became more relaxed as they interact more with others again, returning their life to normal. Many have even uploaded their videos of them going out to “our Paris Snapchats” to show that lives in France continue like usual, and that they are not afraid of terrorism.
To say that Persians are 100% relieved is not true. Just yesterday evening, when I was on the metro, it all of a sudden stopped with lights off. Many started to get nervous. Some took their phones out to call, and some started praying. My heart dropped for a moment. Fortunately, the train started running again after three minutes; it happened to be a train traffic.
I hope Parisians will never forget the horrible terrorist attack, but in a way to continue their everyday lives. It serves no use by not leaving the house and being afraid that something horrific will happen. The best way to recover is to relive the life as how it was before. Vive la France!
Restons forts Parisians! Nous n’allons pas perdre notre joie de vivre!