Le glas sonne dans toutes les églises de France en hommage aux trois victimes de l'attentat dans la basilique de Nice. (-Midi Libre) The death knell is ringing in all the churches of France in homage to the three victims of the attack in the basilica of Nice. (pictured: Catholic church in St. Cyr-sur-Mer)
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Many of you woke to the news of France's latest, most horrific terrorist attack (the fourth in under 6 weeks). Two women and one man were knifed to death this morning in Nice, only a half-mile from the 2016 truck attack in the same Mediterranean city.
The French government immediately put the country under a plan vigipirate (anti-terrorist security alert), at its highest degree. This comes on the eve of the nation's second lockdown.
Adding to the shock are the details behind the murders (certain info will be left out): it took place in a church. One of the victims, an elderly woman, was praying when she was killed. The second woman, who fled, wounded, to a nearby business, died after asking medics for a favor:
Dites à mes enfants que je les aime. Tell my children I love them.
The tears France is shedding and the pain the world is feeling is echoed in le glas: the death knell began ringing at 3 pm this afternoon. Here, on the eve of le confinement, as we process the news, one can't help but ask, How could this tragedy have been avoided?
One answer might be: By keeping quiet! After all, if the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo hadn't drawn...and if the teacher, Samuel Paty, hadn't lectured, had President Macron not spoken out--in the name of freedom of expression--no one would have been offended and thus enraged.
But we all know that isn't the answer, and that the answer isn't as simple as that.
While I am the last person to know the answer, I have a few questions. Is freedom of speech sans exception? Or, is it like the French grammar rule that states: there is an exception to every rule. If so, what is the exception? There must be an exception.
To the victims in Nice: Restez en paix.
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