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We Must Remember All Who Died

Like many of us, I have a deep attachment to Paris.  It is both a geographical location and a luminous state of mind – a two thousand-year-old city permeated by myth and the traces of a complex, sometimes-violent history. 

When I first heard about the shootings that happened in Paris on Friday night, I felt something akin to panic, then disbelief.  After that came anger and, on its heels, helplessness and sorrow. 

We live with the illusion – one necessary, in part, to make getting out of bed every morning possible – that we are safe, that today will not be the day that we die, nor will the people we love most die today either.  This belief keeps us paying our bills, taking our vitamins, sending out birthday cards, planting trees, and walking our dogs.

There were terrorist attacks in Beirut and Baghdad, and in Garissa, Kenya, in the days immediately preceding the attacks in Paris on Friday, November 13.  Dozens of lives in these places also ended prematurely, with bloodshed and mayhem.

The world over, we who are still living, we must remember these Kenyan, Lebanese, Iraqi and French women and men – all robbed of the rest of their lives.  We have lost them in the most senseless way.

Most everyone I know wishes for an end to terrorist attacks, to warfare of all kinds; but I don’t know if the bloodshed will ever end -- whether in our lifetimes or long after we are all gone.

I’m Christine Sneed, and that’s my perspective.