On November 13, horrific attacks hit a number of entertainment and social venues across Paris. As local residents came together to offer transportation and shelter, the world too responded with love and support.
Each night at 1:00 a.m., the Eiffel Tower darkens to save energy. This has been happening for a number of years, but seemed so much more symbolic following yesterday's attacks. In solidarity, Las Vegas opted to keep their Eiffel Tower dark "in memory of the lives lost".
Other cities illuminated their landmarks in blue, white, and red, France's national colours, as messages of support and solidarity. Buildings such as the CN Tower in Toronto, the Sydney Opera House, San Francisco's city hall, and One World Trade Centre (among many, many others) along with Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statute and the Angel de la Independencia monument in Mexico City brightened the darkness with France's blue, white, and red.
Cincinnati stands with Paris. ❤pic.twitter.com/qZrMG22P0G
— Cincinnati Problems (@CincyProblems) November 14, 2015
In addition to lighting up their landmarks, a number of cities sent messages of love and support to those affected over social media.
S.F. stands with Paris pic.twitter.com/KmC6k3NnxR
— SFGate (@SFGate) November 14, 2015
Others took to Twitter and Facebook to share embassy contact information, and to encourage others to spread the word about #PorteOuverte to those who were affected but may have been unaware of how to get safe.
Facebook enabled it's "Safety Check" feature, allowing those in Paris to mark themselves as "safe". Once a user has checked in, a notification is sent to his or her friends to let them know. In fact, Facebook actually prompts those who have their location turned on and who are in an affected area to use the feature. This feature will also show users a map of their own friends in the affected area, letting users know who may be in need of help.
People around the world flocked to French embassies in order to leave flowers, many carrying messages of love, support, and sympathy.
A massive line formed in Moscow filled with people carrying red flowers to lay at the Embassy's doors, creating a memorial to the victims of the attacks. The French Embassy in the Philippines received a bouquet of flowers along with a sympathy card from an anonymous donor in a touching display of kindness. Candles were lit before embassies in Poland and Canada, and in Germany a man stood silent with the French flag outstretched in his arms. Vigils were held in countless locations as the world mourned.
A photo posted by Arnaud Sloim (@as_parisphoto) on
People around the world are sharing artwork, poems, and other creative work to show love and compassion for the victims of the attacks.
The hashtag #JeSuisParis (I am Paris) has also emerged, giving people around the world yet another way to share compassion and support for the victims.
Whenever large scale tragedies occur, it can be almost immobilizing to figure out how to help or the "right" way to respond. It is inspiring to see how the world has come together, not with messages of hatred, but with messages of love.