Even in America, This Tragedy Hit Home
Although the attacks in Paris didn’t occur on U.S. soil, this tragedy hit home for many Americans – and it hit hard. From French flag filters on Facebook to moments of silence before Sunday football games, millions of Americans have expressed sympathy for the victims of these heinous acts of terrorism. That, at least, is clear. But what isn’t as clear is why so many have taken this tragedy to heart.
Is it because both America and France have such similar histories? Both the U.S. and modern France were built upon revolutions that began with ordinary people who demanded equality and independence. The heroes who started these revolutions were among the first who decided that they wanted a free country, even if that freedom cost them their lives. Because both these nations have fought so hard to become countries of freedom and safety, it is especially jarring when our citizens are attacked by those who would like to deprive us of those principles.
Some Americans are the descendants of those who have sacrificed themselves for the sake of our nation. These martyrs are the reason for our history, our lives today, and our impending future. Their contribution has given America a heritage as a strong, independent nation. More than anyone, American soldiers understand that fighting for this country is far more than just fighting for a piece of land. Fighting for this country is fighting for the fundamental beliefs upon which this country was built.
The attacks on France weren’t just aimed at Paris as a place or at Parisians as citizens. Those attacks were intended to violate the core values of independence and freedom that both American and French soldiers have fought to protect and died to defend. Perhaps that’s why these events that occurred on a different continent an ocean away still felt so close and threatening.
Freedom isn’t free, and events like this serve as a reminder of the high price at which it comes. But these events also serve as proof of what it means to be a free citizen. It proves that we need the support and protection of our heroes – our men and women in arms. It proves why we should be grateful for those who have served – our honorable veterans. Finally, it gives us an opportunity to be both humble and proud. We should be humbled by the blessings of a free nation, and proud that we’re a part of it.
Remember, Respect, and Appreciate Our Heroes
In light of these attacks, perhaps we should all take a moment to simply remember, respect, and appreciate our service men and women, both past and present. They are the reason this country still stands. They are our support and comfort through times such as these. Without them, we would fall to acts of terror like what occurred in Paris this weekend. Instead, because of these brave souls protecting us, we will never fall to those who try to take our rights and our American identity.
Thank you to our troops, our veterans, and our heroes.