Yesterday, I was fortunate to wake up to a beautiful, sunny day in one of the most fascinating and historical cities in the world. In the afternoon, I took a river cruise on the Seine River that traveled throughout the waterways of Paris, eventually passing by and circling the island on which the Cathedral of Notre Dame is located. I have included photographs taken from the river cruise, a mere three hours before the Cathedral was engulfed in flames.
Later in the day, when walking out of a store, I noticed a strange-colored plume of smoke coming from the direction of the Cathedral. At first, I thought it was a typical fire but was concerned of a potential terrorist threat. Moments later, I heard continuous emergency police, fire, and ambulance sirens. Walking to a bridge across the Seine River and only a short distance away from Notre Dame, I saw a shocking vision of the Cathedral engulfed in flames. On this bridge, were hundreds of Parisians and visitors such as myself. All were in shock at what we were observing. It became evident this was a fire that would be unlikely to be controlled until major damage had taken place. As a raised Catholic, I was especially stunned at this historic, religious 12th Century monument falling before my very eyes.
This morning I woke up to front page news stories of this event from around the world. Thankfully, this fire does not appear to be the work of any terrorist organization. Nevertheless, in spite of what President Macron has promised the French; that the Cathedral will be rebuilt, I am skeptical that any rebuild of the Cathedral will match its former beauty and contained history.
As you can tell, this event has left an enduring impression upon me. Thank you for reading this blog.