View from the bridge

Why do we care more about Paris?

Complaining about all the extra attention that Paris has been getting over the other recent tragedies is completely missing the point. Of course people are shocked and sad about the loss of lives, but this is about much more than that. Paris carries an important symbolic weight as one of the birthplaces of the values that shape Western civilization. An attack on Paris is not only an attack on individuals; it is an attack on our way of life. It is an attack on all the rights and liberties that we hold dear and often take for granted. It represents not only a threat to France, but to Western civilization as a whole.

Paris being one of the most visited cities in the world also makes this attack feel close to home for many. It is not some distant place in a remote part of the world. Many of us have walked its streets and know people who live or have lived there. This makes it personal. This makes it concrete. These facts do not mean that other recent tragedies are less sad and that we should forget about them, but it certainly makes it understandable and even justifiable that people are going to have particularly intense feelings about this specific attack.

3 years ago

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