Lindenwood reacts to Paris attacks


Lucie Bochon | Reporter
Nov. 18, 2015; 11 p.m.

Students came together to support each other.  Photo by Nao Enomoto
Students came together to support each other.
Photo by Nao Enomoto

Having a moment to remember the victims of terrorist attacks in Paris last week was important to French student Pauline Teruin, who is from Aix-en-Provence.

“It was important for us to have a moment to remember all the people killed during those attacks, not only in Paris but everywhere else it happened those past days,” Teruin said.

Lindenwood students, moved by the tragic death of innocent civilians in Paris, organized a candlelight vigil to mourn the victims of those terrorist attacks at the pavilion on Monday.

“I no longer understood the world we live in,” Teruin said.

Vincent Sorba, from Ajaccio, said that being present to the vigil was important to him.

“It was a way of connecting with France while being so far from our country,” Sorba said. “A way of mourning collectively and somehow lighten our fears and worries by standing as a community.”

After saying a few words in French at the vigil, French professor Heather Brown-Hudson addressed the audience in English to express empathy and mourning to all victims of terrorism attacks across the world.

“We shall not rank global tragedies against one another, we shall crack open the frame of reference and expand it,” Brown-Hudson said. “We are all here united as a cooperative body of humans who, despite coming from so many different communities, culture and regions, are collectively moved by the atrocities that unfolded this week.”

French students gathered to sing the French anthem before each member of the audience lit up a candle in memory of the victims.

Many students and staff members were present to mourn together, with a majority being French students. France has the the third largest international community at Lindenwood, with 61 French students currently enrolled this semester.

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Below is an audio clip of Lindenwood French students singing the French national anthem at the vigil: 

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Several students contacted before and after the vigil shared their thoughts about the attacks.

Photo by Lucie Bochon Fox News? appeared at the vigil and covered the event.
Several local news outlets came to Lindenwood to cover the vigil.
Photo by Lucie Bochon

Yassine Kechida, from Paris, learned the news of the attacks through social media.

“I was lucky because I didn’t have anybody in my family who got touched by those attacks, but I know some friends that lost a member of their family,” Kechida said.

French student Marie Caroline Serre said she was couldn’t believe the news.

“I was shocked and then horrified that such crimes could be committed,” Serre said. “I cannot even find the words right now to describe how I’ve been feeling for the last couple of days, because this should not be happening.”

The tragedy not only moved French students, but many other students from different countries.
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Below is an audio clip of organizer Geddy Avery’s speech to the crowd, which was part of the vigil: 

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Brook Philips, from the U.S., said she is distressed and devastated by the Paris terrorist attacks.

It’s a blow to our country since that region has really been affected by stuff that happens to us,” Phillips said. “I feel like Americans are also affected by what happens to them (France), because we’ve had that bond for so long.”

Geddy Avery speaks to the crowd about remebering the victims of the recent terrorist attacks.
Photo by Lucie Brochon

Tara Rajesh, from Denmark, said she is concerned about terrorist attacks.

“I was shocked and quite scared, because this can take place anywhere and it worries me for my family and loved ones,” Rajesh said.

Moath Abdullah, from Saudi Arabia, said he feels sympathy for the families affected by the attacks.

“All my condolences go to all the French families,” said Abdullah. “I just want the world to be united and to be a safer place to live in.”

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria attacks killed 128 people in Paris on Oct. 13, a suicide blast also killed 27 people in Baghdad the same day and a double suicide bombing took 43 lives in Beirut the day before.

Islamic terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibilities for all those terrorist attacks, and because of this, Abdullah, a Muslim himself, worries that people associate Islam with terrorism.

“A few days ago Lebanon got bombed and Muslim countries such as Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Kenya [were bombed as well],” said Abdullah. “It seems that no one cares for our blood. Isis is not part of Islam and not representative of Islam.”

Many students, such as Rajesh, felt that there was not enough coverage on the attacks that happened outside of France.

“I think there is a lot of coverage (in France) but that’s not a bad thing, however I do feel that there wasn’t enough light shed onto other countries who were hit with the same problem like Lebanon and Syria who experience that almost on a daily basis,” said Rajesh.

Photo by Lucie Bochon French professor Heather Brown-Hudson addressed the audience in English to express empathy and mourning to all victims of terrorism attacks across the world.
Professor Heather Brown-Hudson addressed the audience in English and French to express empathy and mourning to all victims of terrorism attacks across the world.
Photo by Lucie Bochon

Stephanie Berg, from Grenoble, said she was offended by some students’ reaction over media coverage.

“I see on social media that some people are complaining that Paris is getting all the spotlight from the media and I think it is really silly,” Berg said. “A lot of people died, and fighting over front covers is kind of ridiculous and is not going to change any of what happened. Let’s support each other in this difficult time and not forget what should be focusing on.”

Pauline Teruin said that the terrorist attacks that occurred in different locations should matters to everyone.

“As human being we are all raised and educated to respect each other, spread love around us, the exact contrary of what those terrorist actions has showed to the world and that is why it should affect all of us, not only French students,” Teruin said.