I was in my dorm room scrolling through twitter news when I discovered Notre Dame was ablaze.
As I watched a video of the Cathedral on fire, my stomach dropped. Even though I am American, I felt heartbroken for the Parisians who are proud of what the Notre Dame Cathedral represents. It is a part of who they are. It is their history.
Moments later, I messaged my boyfriend (who is in Germany) to see if he heard of the tragic news. He told me he was aware and teared up when he found out. I was surprised by his initial reaction, not only because he is not from France, but also because he does not show emotion often.
However, having grown up in Europe, he still feels like Notre Dame is a part of him.
He even took offense when I sent him a message using the anxious looking emoji because he thought I was mocking him for being emotional. Although he misunderstood, it was then that I realized how tragic this destruction is to many Europeans.
I have been to Paris, France and visited the Notre Dame Cathedral. So, when I scrolled back to photos I took of the iconic building, the situation became more personal.
Notre Dame is a major tourist attraction and I am lucky to have been able to see it before the tragic fire.
I sympathize with the Parisians who are mourning such a great loss. Although I can never fully experience their heartache, I can at least recognize their pain and pray for their healing.