I am not a political writer and I seldom ever discuss world issues, because I do not feel myself educated enough to take on these problems. But I am a writer. The terrorist attack on the newspaper Charlie Hebdo was an attack on the freedom of speech.
As I watch the headlines pour out from Paris and around the world regarding the Charlie Hebdo attack, my heart is torn between aching for the atrocity of murder and pride at watching how the world is reacting to terror.
I watch the people of Paris gather in the Place de la Republique and I feel a strange sense of unity with those holding up their Je Suis Charlie signs and pens. I am reminded of a day…September 11, 2001. I will never forget as I stood in the kitchen getting ready to run to my bus at 6:20 am, watching the second plane fly into one of the Twin Towers and hearing the newscaster stumble and say in awe “I think we are under attack.”
But more than this, I will never forget how it felt the following day when the people of Seattle poured out onto the streets at 12 pm and were united by holding hands as we shared a moment of silence. I linked hands with total strangers who were linking hands with thousands of other total strangers in a moment of pure love and unity. It was a silent demonstration of resistance to evil. I have seldom felt more pride in my country than I did on that day when we all banded together and told the terrorists “We are not afraid and you will not win!”
Unfortunately, over the years, the terrorists of varying countries have had their small successes, but when I see 10,000 people pour into the streets and hold up their pens, I know that there is still more good in this world than evil. It is horrible to think of those who lost their lives, those who were injured and their loved ones. I send up my prayer for them with millions of others around the world.
Yet, what happened today is creating a ripple effect around the world. I see the world uniting for freedom and good and I can’t help but feel myself joining in the fight against evil with them. We’ve had enough!! We are all metaphorically holding up our pens and linking our hands. We fight with silent united strength, with penned words, with art, with voices raised and if necessary, with physical means. But we fight! So here I am, metaphorically holding up my pen and standing with the world against evil. I might just be one voice in my small corner of the world, but one voice united with billions of others becomes a roar that will not be silenced.
“Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light!” ~Dylan Thomas~