Just days after we gathered to recognize the sacrifices made in times of conflict, sacrifices born from a quest to make the world a better, safer place for all, we were once again rocked by news of senseless violence.
It’s easy – sadly – to become hardened to events in some of the more volatile parts of the world, but the events in Beirut and Paris shocked the West from what has been a relatively quiet time.
Here in Canada, our focus – shifted to our own national election and the political goings-on to the south, not to mention the refugee crisis in Syria – was drawn immediately back to the threat posed by extremists.
What struck many people, it seemed, was that the attacks came at such non-political venues, designed presumably to strike fear among the general populace.
With more than 40 dead in Beirut, killed in a double suicide attack on a busy shopping district, and more than 125 in Paris, killed in apparently orchestrated attacks in a restaurant area, a soccer stadium and a music venue, the message seems to be that nowhere is safe.
These weren’t locations symbolic for their religious, political or cultural significance; they were everyday places filled with everyday people.
While it’s easy to become fearful of what could be, perspective will go a long way. We must remain mindful that those responsible represent a fraction of the population. They aim to destabilize by instilling fear, so to give in to that is to reward terrorism.
Our collective hearts go out to all those hurt by terrorism, and we will continue to stand strong with those of all cultures and religions who stand against it.