Many people are talking about it. Somehow, this event, this tragedy, has reawakened in us a sense of our connection with history, with culture and with religion.
The Cathedral’s original construction was begun more than 850 years ago, and its location had religious significance for centuries before that. Kings, popes, emperors have gathered there; wars, revolutions and desecrations have moved in and out of it. Thirteen million people visited it every year.
Thankfully, though the fire was spectacular, no one was killed and only one person, a firefighter, was seriously injured battling the blaze. It is true that the most magnificent building in the world is less valuable than a single human life. But it is also true that our sacred places deeply affect our human lives, and draw us together. Millions of people, Parisians and worldwide, Catholic and atheist, young and old, have been profoundly affected by this loss, and we need to recognize and support one another, whether we have a connection to the building or not.