The events of 13 November sent a wave of shock and sadness through our City of Light. We mourned the senseless loss of life and were shaken by the reality that the attack was on the very essence of everyday life—innocent people just enjoying a night out. We said to ourselves, it could have been any of us.
Soon after, we grew defiant. Strength and resilience are a powerful part of life here.
The flowers and messages that filled the impromptu memorial at the Place de la République and that spilled onto the sidewalks and streets surrounding the attack sites spoke volumes about the French spirit. Love is stronger than hate. Même pas peur (not afraid). Respect for life. Peace for all. Je suis Paris.
There are many unanswered questions, as the events reverberate around the world. But our tradition of resilience urges us to return to normal rhythms. We want to continue to remember why we love Paris.
We believe in the Paris motto Fluctuat nec mergitur: “She is tossed by the waves but does not sink.”
Here are 10 reasons to celebrate Paris and the French spirit.
Même pas peur. Vive la France.
For more from photographer-writer Meredith Mullins, see her essay “In the Wake of the Paris Attacks.”