It’s hard to put into words how I feel about the tragedy that took place in Paris today. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected. I’ll never understand what motivates someone to kill innocent, defenseless people.
I am sure that over the coming days we will hear stories of heroes who stepped up to help others, putting their own lives at risk. There will be people offering their time and money to help victims and their families.
In the meantime, it is gratifying to see how some organizations responded so quickly to the crisis by using their skill set and infrastructure to provide assistance.
Here is a small sample:
- On Twitter, Parisians launched the hashtag #PorteOuverte, which translates to #OpenDoor, to offer shelter and safety to those stranded in the city.
- France 24 is reporting that Parisian taxi drivers are turning off their meters and driving people home — or to safety — for free.
- The New York Times is providing unlimited access to its website and mobile apps for coverage of the terrorist attacks in France.
- Facebook has implemented its Safety Check, allowing users to find and connect with friends in the area and mark them safe if you know they’re OK. (I was notified that a former student who was apparently in Paris for business was safe.)
So while it is certainly hard to see anything positive from what has happened in Paris today, it is comforting to know that there are people and companies that care and want to help.
Vive La France.