The world watched in horror on April 15, 2019, as the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned, and its famous spire toppled. The church stood as a symbol for lovers of religion, architecture, and history all over the world.
And for Parisians, the cathedral has been an icon for centuries – dating back to the 12th century, in fact. That is why the world, and the citizens of Paris in particular, reacted with such an outpouring of grief and emotion when the tragedy took place.
Dan Rather may have said it best:
Why has the burning of Notre Dame moved so many? Because we believe in beauty, majesty, faith, art, history, and the human expressions thereof. We recognize in this cathedral our common humanity. A scar now emerges in our connections to our past, our future, and each other.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) April 15, 2019
As is the case with all tragedies, there are always touching displays of human emotion in the midst of the chaos.
The fire raged for so long that Parisians and tourists alike gathered to watch the church burn. At some point, the crowd started to sing hymns, and a man named Ignacio Gil thought to film it. The video is powerfully emotional:
Ave Maria pic.twitter.com/lb6Y5XV05a
— Ignacio Gil (@Inaki_Gil) April 15, 2019
One piece of good news is that no one died in the blaze, and people jumped into action to save many of the priceless, historic relics that were housed at Notre Dame Cathedral.
Hopefully, the rebuilding and restoration will get started as soon as possible, so Paris, and the world, can have its beloved cathedral back.