CHARLOTTE, NC: Is it cynical to have a knee-jerk reaction to the news of the Notre Dame fire? To immediately ask if it was an act of terrorism? Perhaps in another day and another era, the answer would be “yes”, but in the present state of the world, probably not.
Islamic terrorism has become part of our daily lives since 9/11/01. In the 18 year interim, not only have hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent lives been lost. The victims of horrific acts done by followers of “the religion of peace.”
So too, have great historic treasures been destroyed by those same extremists.
How can we forget the images of people cheering in distant lands when the Twin Towers came crashing to the ground leaving 3,000 people dead amid the rubble?
That happened in our own country, and it was carried out by 18 men, mostly Saudis who just didn’t like the U.S. and Western civilization.
What about the destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra by ISIS or the Taliban’s annihilation of the Buddhas of Bamiyan? Were those links to man’s historical quest to civilization any less significant because they did not represent our own ties to the past?
So why would it not be logical at first notice to initially consider the prospect of some dastardly act? An act meant to remind us we are never completely safe wherever we are?
Paris – a target for terrorism
Anyone who is only half paying attention is aware of how frequently Paris has been the site of major terrorist events in recent years. The enemies of civilization as we know it understands this better than we do. That’s why on this day in some few dark corners of the world an ugly minority still finds reasons to celebrate.
To a lesser degree of global awareness, nine churches were vandalized in just 11 days this past February in France. In fact, church vandalism throughout France has become a major issue recently.
In March, the second largest church in Paris, Saint-Sulpice, was damaged by fire, which police have since claimed was the result of arson.
Given the current activity, it is certainly justified to consider manmade involvement rather than accidental causes when Notre Dame goes up in flames.
Of course, once the Twitter-world lit up with speculation over the possibility of terror, the other half of the social media spectrum was forced to counter their outrage at the polar end of their ideology.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame continued to burn as another important cultural link to msn’s history was going up in smoke.
The burning of Notre Dame – a monumental loss
Accidental or intentional, the most important aspect of concern should be to acknowledge the significance of the loss. By the erasure of any architectural or artistic contribution to the story of man.
Notre Dame will one day rise like the Phoenix from the ashes, but it will not be the same. Imagine if the grand Rose Window was destroyed forever? Gone, leaving nothing but a memory preserved only in pictures, films and the minds and hearts of those who were fortunate enough to experience it. Fortunately, the Rose Windows have survived. But what if?
Icons of history can be replaced perhaps, but they cannot duplicate the genius behind the original.
There is power in iconic treasures for which substitutes are incapable of restoring.
The reason is simple. The original tells the story for which its replacement has no input.
Thankful the burning of Notre Dame was an accident
Thankfully, this time the tragedy was not the result of an act of terror. Even so, we must not apologize for such thoughts when events such as the Notre Dame fire do arise.
Perhaps even the radicals of Islam realize the massive backlash that would result from the intentional destruction of one of the world’s greatest landmarks would obliterate any compassion for their cause.
Let’s hope so.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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