Francois Reyes is President and Founder of Réveil Citoyen, a French think tank. Every month, Réveil Citoyen organises debates all over France and reaches thousands of people. By confronting opposing opinions, it aims to dismantle the growing trend of extremism in France, and perhaps in greater Europe.
We were united more than ever in January and November of 2015, and united more than ever we still stand after this horrendous attack on the people of France, and the world. Murdered while looking at the stars, butchered to satisfy some kind of sick assassin, 84 people, men, women and children will never celebrate France's National Day again. They will never be able to enjoy what should be the simple joy of fireworks on a festive day. They will never be able to share a family's moment, never again will they hear their children, their parents, or their friends laugh.
To hurt someone is terrible. To destroy dozens of lives with a 13-tonne truck is something that goes beyond horror. It leaves the human species with the taste of ashes in its mouth. How? How did we let it happen? When did humans become so inhuman? When did humans think that killing young children playing around one of France's most beautiful cities was serving any kind of cause? When did we forget to smile at their laughs, when did we forget to think about their grieving mother, when did we forget to remember that we ourselves love each other?
Once again, innocent blood is spilled in the streets of my country, and once again, let us all take a moment to grieve, cry, and most importantly, get together. The importance of the third word of our national motto "Fraternité", sometimes forgotten by those who only prone the first two words "Liberté, Égalité" is enhanced more than ever. Get together, speak to one another. Talk to your neighbors, to your friend's friend, to this guy that seems knocked out by the events at the other end of the street, to this girl that seats there, saddened by all of this.Fraternité", sometimes forgotten by those who only prone the first two words "Liberté, Égalité" is enhanced more than ever. Get together, speak to one another. Talk to your neighbors, to your friend's friend, to this guy that seems knocked out by the events at the other end of the street, to this girl that seats there, saddened by all of this.
Yes yes, we are tired. We are tired of seeing the front pages of the newspapers picturing body bags seating in the middle of a street stained with blood. But whatever happens, we can win over this. We can take back our smiles that they took for the next few days. We just have to stick together. This is what Fraternité looks like. This is what Fraternité means.
So please, Liberté, Égalité, and more than ever, Fraternité.