Seeing the fire extinguish on the roof of Notre-Dame Church, many people only can stare sorrowfully. Is Quasimodo OK? Are the gargoyles gone? Part of the hundreds-year-old heritage of France and humanity now turns to ash flying in the east wind in the sunset. As I grew up, the dream of traveling to France was no longer far away, but the Notre-Dame Church was immersed in the sea of fire.
The French, who saw the Arc de Triomphe defaced just months ago, now painfully witnessed a fire burn part of Notre-Dame — burning Quasimodo's shelter, engulfing the pride and identity of France. Notre-Dame is not just a church, a famous tourist attraction that attracts millions of tourists to France, which is a symbol of humanity, but also a historical witness who witnessed the change of the world when France was once the center of European political culture.
"It's our history, our literature, our imagination, the place where we experienced all our greatest moments" — President Emmanuel Macron gave his speech.
It is hard to get the pain of the French people because only they can fully understand this significant loss.
When the fire engulfed the Grenfell tower in London, killing 72 people, Britain was angry about the government's lack of disaster control. When a bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy, people were mad at the authorities' indifference. The moment the fire sank the Brazilian national museum, it turned many legacies throughout southern America, the anthropological documents of civilizations into ash.
The fire in the church of Notre-Dame, fortunately, no one was killed, but the pain of watching the light submerge the building for nearly 1,000 years was also distressing: the burning of the beauty of history and the French spirit. With about 13 million visitors each year, Notre-Dame is a significant architectural structure of an ancient city built from stone and faith, as opposed to an Eiffel tower symbolizing the modern, changes and the joy of life. Notre-Dame as a museum with many price objects, the sacred place of Catholics that quietly witnessed France change over hundreds of years.
The popularity of "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" by Victor Hugo in 1831 helped Notre-Dame become a symbol of the French spirit, helping it to be restored in the 19th century by the famous architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. He reconstructed a magnificent structure, a monumental remodeling. When the fire badly damaged the roof, its historic hallways also flew away. I recall the title in Victor Hugo's "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" — he talked about inspiration that helped him complete this work. In a small corner of one of the two towers, he found an ancient Greek word carved on the wall.
"Faith" — that is the word Victor Hugo found.
So the world believes in France. One day, the fire of 2019 will sink into the history of Notre-Dame. It will take many years to repair fully, but surely Notre-Dame will rhyme itself to overcome it all.
"I share your pain, but I also share your hope. We now have to act, and we will act, and we will succeed" — President Emmanuel Macron.