Sunday, 15 November 2015


Planned this weekend to write a catch up blog post - the usual kind of thing about what I've been doing, reading etc. Can't bring myself to do it after waking up yesterday to the news of the horrific terrorist attack in Paris.  All my petty concerns about workload and the messy kitchen brought into perspective.

When we were in New York at half term, we went to the 9/11 memorial. The names of all the people killed are etched on the memorial: ordinary people who went to work that morning and never came home. I wonder what Ann Walsh McGovern, one of the victims whose name I noticed, would be doing now, if those who carried out the attack had remembered their humanity.  What was going through the terrorists' heads as the plane approached the tower?  Any regrets, thoughts of family or twinges of conscience?  Or do they really believe they will be rewarded in the afterlife for their carnage?

What happened in Paris is Europe's 9/11.  A normal Friday night in the city. Young people enjoying a concert. Or at the football. Others enjoying a meal in a restaurant, as we did on our visit to the city in September. Shot in cold blood. Indiscriminately. Randomly.  Families and future plans shattered in an instant. And for what?  What do the terrorists and those who control them want?  How can we stop these things happening?

I grew up with terrorism.  Many people in Northern Ireland and in England lost their lives; many of them were innocent civilians. The violence on both sides was unacceptable.  But at least there was a 'reason' (not quite the word, but you know what I mean) behind it and leaders you could talk to and attempt to negotiate with.  Through peace talks, the violence in Northern has ended.

How can world leaders respond to this attack?  More air strikes?  That's hardly going to solve the problem when there seems to be an unending supply of young men prepared to blow themselves up to combat the evils of the west. Like young people who go out to enjoy themselves on a Friday night.

There'll be a memorial in Paris, just like the one in New York.  We'll visit it and feel sad and sorry for those who have lost their lives.  And secretly, and guiltily, glad it wasn't us, as it so easily could have been.


  1. I am a bit lost for words but I wanted to to let you know I have read your thoughtful post. x

  2. I don't know what to say about Paris, so sad and so terrible. xx

  3. Our cousins name is on the memorial in New York, she was on one of the planes. Her last moments are too horrific to think about. She had her whole life ahead of her. I don't know what the answer to this horror is, but I worry that there will be a backlash against the refugees fleeing this terror that occurs everyday in their own countries.

    1. Oh Chickpea. My friend died in the Lockerbie bombing. I still think of him rushing out of the pub that I was working in at the time, worried that he'd miss his flight home to New Jersey. He didn't. But he never made it home. Sending much love to you. xx

  4. Hey Doris,
    I took a solitary picture at the 9/11 memorial. Someone had placed a flower upon one of the names etched into the stone. All around were people taking selfies with those bloody sticks, and I could only think that this was not just a memorial, but a grave site. I was overwhelmed with sadness, and I wasn't able to go inside the museum. I touched the name of a lady and 'her unborn child' which moved me beyond words.
    Paris has appalled and devastated me.
    This is a wonderful post. Thank you.
    Leanne xx

  5. What happened in Paris, New York, Northern Ireland and many other places is unacceptable. It seems that the violence goes on and on and is only reported when is reaches a certain level. I live in Northern Ireland and I can tell you that the violence has NOT stopped. It's only a matter of months since a man was shot across the road from where I work.