On the afternoon of April 15, the city of Paris, France was alarmed by smoke flooding their city. Their iconic and famed Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire. The 850 year-old Gothic church is one of the biggest landmarks in Paris and is filled with hundreds of years of history. The Cathedral holds priceless relics such as “The Crown of Thorns” and predates historic figures such as Joan of Arc and even Leonardo Da Vinci. The devastating fire has since caused massive damage to the building such as the collapsing of the Cathedral’s spiral and its roof.
In the wake of this recent tragedy, hundreds of people have come together to reassure the restoration of this historical and iconic Gothic landmark. French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to restore Notre Dame within the next five years. It’s one of France’s most visited tourist attractions and such an important staple for the country as a whole. Besides the Eiffel Tower, it’s definitely one of the first places that comes to mind when someone thinks of Paris.
Since the fire occurred about a week ago, almost one billion dollars have been raised for the reconstruction of Notre Dame. The fact that so many people were able to pull all of this money together within the span of a week is amazing. It shows people all over the world coming together for a joint cause. However, it has also become a topic of concern.
Many have been questioning the worthiness of this massive amount of money going towards the rebuilding of the Cathedral. Some have pointed out that there are other causes that deserve the sort of enthusiasm that Notre Dame received. Those on social media have expressed their frustration with this, the main questions being: where were all these millionaires when other tragedies struck? How come Notre Dame has received such quick support and other causes have not?
Notre Dame is a very important building. It is important to the people of France as well as people everywhere. It’s a place of worship and a place of history. This is a building that has survived the French Revolution and World War II. As a historical and national landmark, it deserves an intense amount of support. However, I can understand why so many are upset by this output of support.
I believe all tragedies are tragedies; however, there are causes that are clearly in need that have not received support anywhere close to how much Notre Dame has received. According to an article from MSN News, when the Grenfell Tower in London caught fire, about €20 million was raised. That’s only about 20% of the donations that Notre Dame received. 72 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire and hundreds of people lost their homes.
Personally, I think the energy that happened after Notre Dame is something we need to see a lot more of in this world– especially towards other important causes that go completely unnoticed. There are so many things that still need fixing that could’ve been fixed if they had this same enthusiasm. Support is so important when it comes to any kind of cause. That’s what people need and want after something terrible happens, and if there’s a lack of it, it’s a slap in the face.
After the fire, President Donald J. Trump offered the United States’ support to France in the rebuilding of its national landmark. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico is still suffering from the horrific effects of Hurricane Maria, and Flint, Michigan still does not have clean water. Trump is offering support to France while our own country is in desperate need of help.
Recently, within the last month, a tragedy hit the United States when three historical black churches in Opelousas, Louisiana caught fire due to arason– the result of a hate crime. While Notre Dame was also in flames, a Louisiana resident asked followers on Twitter to also think of these churches as well. Since then, about 1.8 million dollars has been raised.
As amazing as it was to see people coming together for this tragedy, we should also keep in mind to have this sort of enthusiasm all the time. No tragedy is the same, and tragedy happens every day, but when something horrible happens it’d be nice to see people give the kind of support Notre Dame received to all different kinds of issues. There are so many things going wrong in our world and if we could react the way we did for Notre Dame for every sort of disaster, then maybe it will make things in this world seem a little brighter.