I sit in Nice, a day since the attack. A city in mourning. Her tears falling for the victims of July 14.
Mothers cry as they lay photos of their husbands and sons, friends place borrowed shirts they could never return, fathers hold back tears as they explain to their kids that mom isn’t coming home, somewhere a little sister falls asleep in the upper bunk and she doesn’t understand why her older sister is not there with her.
Never have I felt the power of a collective mourning so powerfully. I have never stood on the ground of tragedy so recent to the incident.
Thousands now roam the 1.2 mile stretch of promenade looking for answers, only to find vigil after vigil for the victims. Flowers, candles, and stuffed animals have replaced the bodies that laid there 2 nights before.
Sometimes there is no answer to the question of why. In the wake of tragedy, we are only left with despair, loneliness, confusion, anger, and fear. We are forced to accept the reality of something that is unacceptable. In an instant what we had is taken from us.
What we are left with is each other. We cannot recover unless we do it together. We cannot let events of hatred force us to direct our fear and anger to others. We cannot hide. When events like this occur, we have to embrace each other more than ever. It is the only way to rebuild.
As I write this, 4 days since the attack, Nice is beginning to carry on. Streets are opening again, the national guard is beginning to vacate, and life is resuming. Nice will hold back her tears as she rebuilds, as I now hold back mine.
NOTE: this last photo is of trash, rocks with curses written on them, spit, and piss. It is the pile for the driver.