365 Days of Despair

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A world map depicting the thoughts regarding the 2015 Paris attacks.

Sydney Asencio, Staff Writer

November 13th, 2015 is a date that will forever be engraved in the minds of the Paris citizens.  It is a date when France experienced the deadliest terrorist attack by numbers to have occurred on European soil in the eleven years.  French President Hollande stated directly following the attacks that, “We are in a war against jihadist terrorism which is threatening the whole world.”  It is a date that to rest of the world, marks over 100 lives lost.  These were innocent lives, that were simply crushed in the large, heinous hands of terrorism.

It has been an entire year since the shooting and suicide bomb attacks on the city.  Paris and the rest of the world mourned together over the losses of 130 people, many only middle-aged, who had their lives cut short due to the 2015 terrorist strike.  Candles were lit, prayers were made, and preventative steps were put into action.  

Josie Krieger, a junior who was enrolled in the France program abroad last year commented that, “I was in France in the Spring [of 2016] and saw French military men at every major monument with large guns.”  The repercussions of the event have included amped security across the city with a focus on monuments and stadiums, along with the consideration of new law.  This law, if passed, would be similar to the United States Patriot Act.  It is an anti-terrorism act with the center of attention being the security of the nation.  5,000 positions are to be added to French military and police forces.  Additionally, no defense cuts are to be made to the security budget until 2019, in order to prevent any further attacks.

The awareness for prevention of terrorism has only grown since the attacks one year ago.  Several nations, including France and the United States, have recognized the need for intensive safety measures.  Additionally, through social media, the connections between people worldwide against terrorism have strengthened tremendously.  The hashtag ‘#PrayForTheWorld’, which was created in a period directly following the Paris attacks, has continually been used across social media platforms in a positive manner.  State College High School French teacher, Brogan Goeller, incorporated this idea into her classroom in 2015.  She said, “I had students create posters with images depicting peace and the slogan ‘L’amour est plus fort que la haine,’ which means ‘Love is stronger than Hate.’”  The world has experienced its 365 days of despair.  The world now looks towards 365 days of hope.

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