Liberté, égalité, fraternité: #PrayForParis

The January Charlie Hebdo attacks were clearly an assault on freedom of the press and freedom to offend (yes, Charlie was extremely offensive…but not worth a bullet), and that attack was personal for any member of the global media community.  It was terrible, pointless, and horrific, but yesterday’s nighttime attacks in Paris were an attempt to crush our freedom to eat at a restaurant, enjoy a soccer game, and listen to death metal.  Words cannot convey the sadness that we all feel.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and all Parisiennes.  #PrayforParis.

I’ve been to France a dozens of times for work in the Vosges, and there is an American Cemetery in Epinal — a memorial to the American servicemen who died during WWII fighting to free France.  It is a quiet place, a place for reflection, and the final resting place for thousands of American soldiers.  But down the road in the town of Colmar is a large roundabout and in the middle is the worlds largest replica of the Statue of Liberty.  Colmar is the hometown of  Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi the designer of the Liberty Island, NYC based La Liberté éclairant le monde.  In the middle of an otherwise typical French town, she stands up from the green plains of the Alsace and shouts her message of Liberty, Enlightening the World.

So with these recent attacks, we must acknowledge that there is death and there will be more, but we cannot forget that Liberty…she will always be here, enlightening the world.  Perhaps with her torch and her allies of equality and fraternity, she can bring light to the dark corners of the world.