I was at work today when I decided to check the news. Usually nothing is ever going on other than the latest random Trump tweet or sports update. But this time I couldn’t believe what I saw, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was on fire! And not just a small fire on the side or something, no the whole thing was ablaze… I thought it wasn’t real and that it was some bad joke, but of course it wasn’t.
Coming from Europe, cathedrals aren’t really special to me, they are literally everywhere in every town and every city. The Notre Dame is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world though, even I can appreciate the beautiful windows, the high ceilings, not to mention the history of the place. And it holds special memories for me as well. I first visited the church in the summer of 1993 as a 12 year old kid with my folks. And then later again I visited with school, again in college, and finally on our honeymoon in 2007.
It was bitter, bitter cold those few days we were there, but the weather was beautiful. I remember walking around inside with my new wife, she was raised Catholic and still practices Catholicism, and she was obviously in awe. We then had some crepes at a restaurant right next to the Notre Dame, after which we walked around the cathedral, took more photos and then walked all the way down the Seine toward Pont Neuf. And that experience made me respect the Notre Dame a whole lot more. And now that it has basically burned down, which I can’t believe even typing, I just feel very sad. (November 2007)