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Paris Attacks: Another Act of Violent Terrorism Ends in Random Deaths

As a therapist, Janis is fascinated by the way social behavior is influenced by the media, socio-political trends, and historical events.

Paris Attacks: A Day of Terror Never to be Forgotten

A Friday night in November will forever hold the memories of a senseless, coordinated terrorist attack on Paris, France, which ended innocent lives.

A Friday night in November will forever hold the memories of a senseless, coordinated terrorist attack on Paris, France, which ended innocent lives.

Another Violent Attack in Paris

Once again, my living room is flooded with chilling news flowing from the television. The "breaking news" is horrific and compelling, making it difficult to turn away, much less turn it off. I switch back and forth from one news broadcast to another, trying to keep up with the latest updates and death tolls.

I peer into my television, not as a voyeur but as a member of the world community, connected to humanity by a shared sorrow. I am gripped by the events before me because I know it could happen anywhere. I think about how less than an hour ago, I left my office in the heart of the busy business district on K Street in Washington, DC. I drove out of the parking garage, onto the streets, and into overflowing bumper to bumper traffic, all now referred to as "soft targets." What if someone randomly chose to place a bomb in the area where I drive, work, walk to lunch, and pass by the subway train daily?

This realization becomes clearer as we ponder the Paris attacks, knowing that it could very well happen anywhere. It could happen to any of us, at any time, in any country. Whether we are out shopping, attending a concert, a football game, or out to dinner at a favorite restaurant, this type of tragedy could touch any human being who chooses to exert his freedom.

This reality moved me to arrange these thoughts into poetry, as I sat there, taking in the breaking news coverage that reminded me of 9/11. I could not stop watching as the following poem below began to form.

The Beauty of a City: The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is a symbol of beauty in Paris, France representing light, love and unity.

The Eiffel Tower is a symbol of beauty in Paris, France representing light, love and unity.

"Paris Attacks: Here Today, Gone Today"


In a city of lights and love

Death came unannounced

Here today then blown away

Innocent lives of everyday people


Without warning, gone today

Brutally taken in cold blood

Untimely endings came

Shocking a nation into stillness


No time to drink up

That last taste of fine wine

Gone to waste, in a glass

Still holding fingerprints of the dead


A moment of joy

A night of music

Punctuated by shots fired

Ringing into ears . . . still ringing


The ringing loudly reverberates

Throughout the entire world

Asking the question

As tears run down numb cheeks

"When will it end, where will it strike again?"


JLE 2015

The World Loves Paris

This postcard represents favorite elements the world loves about Paris, France.

This postcard represents favorite elements the world loves about Paris, France.

Peace for Paris and the World

The sudden loss of loved ones to such tragedy is almost incomprehensible. I offer prayers and condolences to the families and friends of all victims who lost their lives in the Paris attacks. May their souls find peace after being ripped so harshly from a world in which chaos and evil exists. May the God of peace find those pockets of the world where evil resides, cleanse them of hate and division, and fill them with love, compassion and respect for human life.

Update: One of the most wanted masterminds behind the Paris attacks was apprehended today (3-17-16) in Belgium. As the victims heal and the families of the deceased continue to grieve, four months later, let us continue to pray for peace.

Update: And then there was Brussels, March 22, 2016.

Update: Today, Friday, April 8th, several key suspects were said to be arrested in Brussels for both the Paris and Brussels terror attacks.

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UPDATE: Unfortunately, France was hit again last summer on July 15, 2016 on Bastille Day, when a suspect drove a truck through crowds of people in Nice. Eighty-six people were killed. When will it end?

UPDATE: Too many to count as attacks in and outside of Paris continue; there were 7 terror attacks in 2017.

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UPDATE: May 11, 2019, a man wielding a knife attacked five innocent people, killing one and wounding four.

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UPDATE: October 29, 2020, 3 people were fatally attacked at a church in Nice by a man with a knife.

© 2015 Janis Leslie Evans

Comments

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on March 20, 2016:

Love and compassion will always reign supreme. Thank you, savvydating, for your generous comment. It was my pleasure to share it, your critique means a lot.

Yves on March 20, 2016:

This article, along with your lovely (and sophisticated) poem touched me. Despite all the madness and violence from extremist jihadists, they are unable to erase love and compassion from the human heart.

Thanks for caring so much, janshares.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 26, 2015:

Thank you very much, AliciaC. Your generous comments are much appreciated. I do hope it helps someone heal from the tragedy.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 26, 2015:

Thank you for creating this tribute, Jan. I appreciate it very much. I'm sure it must have been difficult to create the hub when the news was so horrible. We need to remember the people who died in Paris, and your hub will help people to do this.

Tijani Achamlal from Morocco on November 16, 2015:

I am so sorry.I thought you were like those people says "Their" crimes are terror attacks, while "Our" attacks are not crimes but are noble defense of values.I'm sorry once again.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 16, 2015:

You're welcome, word55. Thank you for your comments and visit.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 16, 2015:

Thanks for your comments, James-wolve. The horror of Syria flooded my living room a few weeks ago as I watched a special segment of 60 Minutes on CBS. It was the images of children, gassed with Sarin, being held by their parents, that tore me up. It made me sick with grief and brought me to tears. So please don't judge me for not writing a poem about. Creativity comes when it comes for me. No offense, I agree with you that humans are humans everywhere. I appreciate your visit.

Tijani Achamlal from Morocco on November 16, 2015:

Well written tribute.You started your article by saying: Once again, my living room is flooded with chilling news flowing from the television. The "breaking news" is horrific and compelling," What if you spend 5 years of watching the breaking news about the daily sufferings of Syrian people under the thug regime who is supported by the western countries ,would your life be normal..I mean would you act to this extent?I don' t think so.Sorry,I mean no offence,I am just saying.. humans are humans everywhere.In syria,every day between 40 to 6o innocent people are killed by the bomb barrels of the Syrian regime.NO one tried to change thier Facebook profile picture to Syrian flag.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on November 16, 2015:

Hi Jan, this was a great and profound poem of a tragedy that will never be forgotten. This was so heart felt. People with love in their hearts should use it to spread more love and be not afraid to show it. Thank you so much for your patriotism.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 15, 2015:

Thank you, snakeslane. Never thought of it that way.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on November 15, 2015:

janshares your heart is speaking here for many who cannot. Thank you.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 15, 2015:

Very sweet of you to say, rebekahELLE. I appreciate your comments very much.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 15, 2015:

Thanks, Cyndi10, for stopping by and acknowledging the tragedy.

rebekahELLE from Tampa Bay on November 15, 2015:

Jan, thanks for sharing such a heartfelt, poetic response to the horror and sadness that we all felt/feel as the news unfolded before our eyes. The sadness continues for those who lost their lives and for those who may feel they have lost their sense of freedom, which is a very broad sense is all of us. Ignorance and hatred can only be overcome by learning and reason, light. You are a beautiful light.

Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on November 15, 2015:

So sad; so unspeakably senseless. Our prayers are with the victims, with the citizens of France and with us all.

Take care.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 15, 2015:

Thanks for saying so, Venkatachari, appreciate your comments.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on November 15, 2015:

Well written tribute to those innocent lives lost at the hands of terrorists. It is really a cowardice act, killing women and children from their back unawares.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 14, 2015:

Thank you for that prayer, BlossomSB. I appreciate your visit.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 14, 2015:

Thanks for your visit, Faith. Peace to you, too.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on November 14, 2015:

A great tribute to those who lost their lives in another such horrific event. Our hearts and prayers go out to the relatives and friends of those who were killed, and for those injured in body or mind. May God's peace be restored in the world as we thank Him for the freedom He gives in our hearts. May those who are inspired to kill, maim and terrify be turned to learn about His love and forgiveness.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on November 14, 2015:

Hi Jan,

Your poem sums up all that we are feeling. It is the free, open society that they hate so much. I am reminded of 09/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings.

Peace and prayers to all

RTalloni on November 14, 2015:

So appreciate your response and I look forward to seeing more of how you continue thinking it all through. It's good to be able to discuss related issues without parties taking offense. It will be interesting to see more responses here as people will be thinking the different aspects of the terrible event in relation to your words through from the perspective of what they have and are focusing on at the time. Good discussions are so important.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 14, 2015:

Thank you sooo much, RTalloni, for your keen critique. I expected someone would bring it up as I went back and forth about it myself. I thought I might see how it goes and perhaps consider changing the title later. However, the URL is permanent now. As I intended with my other poem hub on random violence, I think it's important to underscore the randomness of the lives lost and the places targeted in the midst of carefully planned and coordinated terror attacks.

In my mind, the end result of the planned mayhem is a feeling of randomness, that I or you could be next. So for now, I will leave it as is and hope readers will understand my use of the word "random." You've already given me some ideas on how I might use the word differently in the title. Thank you again for you comments and for stopping by.

RTalloni on November 14, 2015:

Thank you for sharing your heartfelt sympathies (eloquently stated in phrases like "connected to humanity by a shared sorrow") and your poem with the closing comments. The shock and sadness are palpable, the bond of sympathy to the families, the city, and the country comes from all places that hate evil.

In too many instances what I offer next could be risky, but I don't think so in your case. I would like to mention something, but please know that it is not coming from a critical spirit. I'm wondering if you might want to consider dropping the word random from the title.

I think it may simply be that everything in us wants to think of this as random and so we can miss the fact that it was far from it. I know that in a sense at least most of the people killed were probably murdered randomly, but the act of terrorism was carefully planned and we need to remain aware of that fact. If I am missing a point about the use of the word random here, please forgive.

Thank you again for giving voice to the compassion we feel for the victims, their families, and all of France.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 14, 2015:

Well put, sis. It's the least we can do, it's the most we can do. Thanks for stopping by.

Rosetta on November 14, 2015:

It happened to us here in 9/11/01 and we prayed. The prayers of the righteous availeth much, we must never stop praying.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 14, 2015:

You're welcome, whonunuwho. Thanks for taking the time to acknowledge this tragedy by reading my article.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 14, 2015:

Yes, it's the least we can do at this heavy time of mourning. Thanks for your visit and comments, Eric.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 14, 2015:

Oh, Greensleeves, your words mean a lot. I appreciate these comments and your understanding of the magnitude, evidenced by your own need to write about the Charlie Hebdo attack. I am grateful for the sharing of this article. Thank you.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 14, 2015:

Thanks, pstraubie, blessings to you. Yes, the randomness of who's next is the worse part.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 14, 2015:

Thanks, ahorseback, I will. Thanks for visiting.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 14, 2015:

You are very welcome, ritareeact3. Thanks for stopping by to acknkowledge the tragedy.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on November 14, 2015:

Yes, very sad and concerning for the world, Jodah. Thank you for liking the poem, the words just came through my emotions. I appreciate your visit.

whonunuwho from United States on November 14, 2015:

Thank you for your message and it is well received my friend. There are cowards in this world who choose to kill the innocent women and children because they are afraid to face men and dare to stand on an even battleground. The vermin of society will see their own end in time. WE have all got to stand strong and be the defenders of our brothers and sisters around the world. Blessings to you and yours.Thanks again.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 14, 2015:

How horrible man can be to man. How beautiful your poem shining a light into darkness and chaos. You created a wonderful juxtaposition.

Dare I become callous I must set aside time for prayer and contemplation for the loving people lost to hate.

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on November 14, 2015:

Janis, well done to write this so promptly, and in such a heartfelt way. I can identify with your feelings, and your need to write. Back in January, I felt similarly prompted to write by the spirit of solidarity and togetherness in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attack. That spirit of togetherness among ordinary people was seen as a message of hope for the world. Now as the year comes to an end, Paris has experienced another tragedy, and the people of violence offer no message of hope. It was good to read your article Janis, but sad that events meant that it had to be written.

The poem itself is beautifully and expertly written so soon after the event. I will share the hub and, if possible, share the poem with a link on a poetry website.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 14, 2015:

So important, Jan, and so powerful..when, indeed, will this end? It is like a game of Russian roulette waiting to see who will fall victim to this kind of egregious act.

Shared g+ pinned and tweeted

Angels are once again on the way to you and on the way to those who suffered this tragedy. ps

ahorseback on November 14, 2015:

Nice writing ! Jan , There is a new violence or rather a new face on the same old violence today . Scary ! Let's hope it never gets to America .

Keep on writing !!!!!

ritareeact3 on November 14, 2015:

Well written Hub and poem about another senseless act of violence committed in the name of their God...I know my God would not approve the mass killing of innocent people. I personally will keep the faith that good will prevail and my God will vindicate. Thank you for your heartfelt post.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 14, 2015:

A wonderful poem Jan and thoughtful hub. This is a terrible tragedy and very concerning as it could happen anywhere and none of us can feel safe. I contemplated writing a poem about it as well but so far haven't come up with anything, but I commend you for doing so. It appears ISIS are behind this. Something needs to be done soon to eradicate them.