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Humans of CSU: Student from France hears of Paris attacks from Fort Collins

Humans of CSU

Editor’s note: Like Humans of New York’s “daily glimpses into the lives of strangers on the streets,” Humans of CSU tells the stories of the people who populate our campus. Written by Collegian staff and told in first-person from the subject’s point of view, this series aims to make each individual on campus relatable.

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I learned of the attack when I finished my work Friday at 2:30 p.m. A friend told me that after the soccer game, there was breaking news: three gunshots in Paris, 18 people dead.

(Photo Courtesy of Jenny Meutelet)

I had my parents on the phone right after and they told me that Le Bataclan was attacked too. They didn’t have more information at that time — it was 10:30 p.m. in France and they just learned about it.

I had to meet two other French friends because we had to go to Denver for the Nuggets game, but we spent all our time in the car and in the stadium watching the news. And it was just awful. The number of dead just increased each time we looked, especially when the hostages had been rescued in Le Bataclan.

Luckily, my parents don’t live in Paris, but I have family there and a lot of friends who are studying there, so for my friends, I saw they put on Facebook that they were safe. A girl I know lives in one of the streets that had been attacked.

I learned Saturday morning that two of my friends were at the Stade de France for the game. Luckily, everything was fine there.

But even if I didn’t know any of victims, it’s a national feeling. They killed innocent people. With my friends, we read a tweet from someone in Le Bataclan and it said, “They are killing everybody. One by one.” It really choked us.

They just came to kill innocent people. People at a concert, in restaurants, with friends, having fun, celebrating the weekend. It was because they represented freedom.

We all are mourning, everyone is deeply affected by these attacks. I read something like, “For Charlie, they attacked freedom of expression, now they attacked humanity.”

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I don’t really know how I felt. It was mixed feelings, but I can’t explain which ones. I was so worried and choked.

What’s sure is that in France, people are mourning for now, but will be stronger. They will not drop, that’s for sure.

I just read this, and I found this wonderfully summarized, “France is beautiful because of its freedom, and that, nobody can take it away.”

Now, I’m proud of how French people react. Even though they might be afraid, they don’t want to stop living because of people who can’t stand how free we can be.

Collegian staff can be reached at socialmedia@collegian.com.

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