Written by The Dark Knight of Sports LaShawn Encarnacion
Not even 24-hours later, the country of France is still reeling from the worst attack on its home soil since World War II. Over 120 people proclaimed dead, gunman who were involved in attacks (confirmed to be working with ISIS organization) also dead and a boy of a suicide bomber was found near the stadium where a soccer game filled with 80,000 fans was being played. Reactions are heavy as are the emotions near and far.
In show of solidarity, numerous buildings displayed the colors of the French people and its nation. In New York City, the Empire State building lit up its lights. In Washington DC, Dublin Ireland, Toronto Canada, all collectively lit up their key monuments with the colors of the France nation to show respect, solidarity and the prayers of their people are with them.
In international airports, where French travelers are stranded, there has been an pouring of American citizens offering these stranded people a place to stay while they wait for it to be safe to travel back to their home country of France. The hashtag #StrandedinUS began trending overnight Friday into Saturday with offers from Americans willing to help Parisians having trouble making their way back home due to airline cancellations or delays. People offered up beds, couches and hot meals to French nationals in need. Those having trouble making their way back to France were also encouraged to use the hashtag to ask for help.
American athletes and celebrities took to Twitter, Facebook and all other social media outlets to share their feelings and support.
LeBron James tweeting before his game “As I get ready for my game I can’t help but to think of the tragedy in Paris! My God what’s up with people. Prayers sent to all the families!”
Hip Hop Legend Snoop Dogg, on his Facebook page has a custom picture of the Eiffel tower and a heart drawn around it on his timeline. Snoop Dogg’s Official Facebook Page
The original Avenger and super patriot Captain America, played by Chris Evans spoke out via his official Twitter account @ChrisEvans “Cowards. Stay strong, Paris. Thoughts are with you all.”
The Flash’s Grant Gustin took to his official Instagram Grant Gustin’s Official Instagram to show his support to France saying #prayforparis “These things shouldn’t be happening in our world. It’s so senseless. Breaks my heart and makes my stomach hurt. Together we are strong and peace is always the answer.”#NotAfraid
Many many more people continue their support through social media and while Americans wait for word on their loved ones i France, government officials are speaking out over this brutal and what appears to be retaliation for the drone strike not even 24-hours ago on the ISIS leader
French President Francois Hollande had earlier blamed the carnage on the Islamic State group and vowed to attack the group without mercy.
Hollande declared three days of national mourning and raised the nation’s security to its highest level, calling the carnage “an act of war that was prepared, organized, planned from abroad with internal help.”
French anti-terror police were working to identify potential accomplices. Authorities said eight attackers died, seven of them in suicide bombings, a new tactic in France. Police said they shot and killed the other assailant.
On U.S. soil, President Barack Obama spoke on the issues going on in France.
The series of terror attacks unfolding in Paris today are attacks “on all of humanity,” President Obama said.
“We’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians,” he said. “This is a heartbreaking situation.”
Dozens of people have been killed in a series of attacks around Paris, as explosions and gunfire and reports of hostage taking rock the city just ten months after the attacks on the office of a French satirical newspaper and a kosher supermarket.
Obama, who said he did not yet have all the details on the attacks, said the United States will do “whatever it takes to work with the French people and nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice.”
He was briefed on the attacks this evening by an adviser, he said.
President Obama is scheduled to travel to Paris on Nov. 29 for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which more than 120 heads of state are expected to attend.
Obama spoke with French President Francois Hollande Friday ahead of the Paris attacks, about the upcoming summit.
He said in his brief remarks he wouldn’t immediately reach out to Hollande as events in France continued to unfold.
ISIS officials, after admitting to the attacks on France, also made a public statement defending their actions. An English audio recording, released hours later, repeated the hate-filled message in what sounded like a North American accent.
Calling the attack “blessed,” an audio statement released online in Arabic and French said that ISIS “soldiers” targeted the “capital of prostitution and obscenity, the carrier of the banner of the Cross in Europe.”
The statement said eight attackers were involved and claimed the attack was the “first of the storm and a warning to those who wish to learn.”
What is to be expected next is unknown. But government officials as well as state and local officials here at home are on high alert. Extra security at airports, big stadium venues and arenas are being requested and encouraged. As ISIS said, this is just the “first of a storm” so that easily can mean something more is coming. When is the question. Only thing known for certain is the unity of the Allied Powers is never been more strong.
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