Thinking of Paris

Tonight, just across the Atlantic Ocean, the night of Friday the 13th has been painted with terror. In five different spots around Paris, either gunman or explosions sought to kill and destroy the everyday life that only terrorists would desire to end. Crowds of spectators at an international soccer exhibition were evacuated to safety after two explosions alerted the local authorities to converge upon the street in search of the attackers. Just miles away gunman walking down Parisian streets, entering various popular Friday night locations, and killing dozens of civilians were neutralized after the massacre ensued. Immediately after, emergency relief personnel flooded the scenes with firefighters, policemen, and eventually French military units assisting survivors, both injured and uninjured. The death count is estimated to be between 80-100 with higher estimates at 120. French President Fran├žois Hollande declared an official state of emergency as well as closed borders as his government begins the healing process with hopes of finding and prosecuting all perpetrators. Foreign nations united against the Islamic State are issuing statements of support and words vowing revenge on the speculated offenders, but ISIS has yet to confirm their involvement.

As we go into the weekend, let our thoughts be with those in Paris as well as our prayers for their recovery and communal emotional outpouring. Nations across the globe have already spoken out against the atrocities in France with condemnations against blatant inhumane acts of terror. Coutrries with differences have come together over these terrorist attacks because at the base of it all, humanity was attacked. I can't think of a single person on the globe who feels safer after hearing this news. American authorities have already increased alertness and safety protocols in order to protect their civilians. European countries, France's neighbors, have taken steps to secure their capitals as well. At the same time, all countries against the threat of Islamic extremism (the most likely actors behind the attacks) have vowed to contain and eliminate the problem endangering innocent human beings across the globe. The Islamic State has done nothing but applaud the horrible events. Many people may go back to the January terrorist attacks on "Charlie" and the incredible global support that was offered up as a result. A response to these significantly worse tragedies should be more resolute. Governments and military forces should take a harder look at how they can advance the fight against ISIS. Its domestice conflicts have just become a global threat to human security, just as the 9/11 plane crashes had intensified feelings towards al-Qaeda militants. For this reason, we need to take the chance to increase the safety of the world population who have newfound doubts about their ability to stay away from terrorist threats. The globalized flows of thousands, even millions of people a day allow evil men to plan and execute their worst on anyone they so choose. Those gunman were not concealed, they strolled down crowded streets of Parisians wielding AK-47s with no intention of emerging alive. These are the conflicts we face today, not those of severe economic crises or nations declaring war upon one another, but of the random possibility of being slaughtered by an unknown soldier that has made it his cause to kill innocent people. So with this, and many incidencts before, we are not innocent. We have become a part of the global struggle for safety, and it is necessary for us to realize that. The night of November the 13th in Paris will forever live in global infamy, but the next days, weeks, and months will be marked by the formation of a united front against the broad threats of terrorism in all forms. We are not nationals looking to maintain our country's security anymore, but international citizens that seek to make the world a better, safer place for the neighbor next to us.

God Bless Paris.

Jacob Hess


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