Terror attacks rivet eyes of world, inspire acts of humanity

We reserve this Monday’s editorial to express our deepest condolences to the lives lost this weekend to hateful, meaningless acts of terror.

On Friday evening, scores of Parisians and visitors kicked off the weekend with a night of music, a game of soccer or dinner and drinks, with absolutely no inkling of what was to come. Within an hour, 129 people were dead and more than 300 injured by suicide bombings and shooting rampages that occurred at multiple locations throughout central Paris. Since then, the fatalities have risen to 132 with the deaths of seriously injured victims.

Less than a year after the January terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo, yet another pall of death has fallen over the city beloved for its dazzling sense of life and love. Around the world, people have wept for Paris, for Beirut and for Baghdad. These lives have been lost at the hands of militants with no purpose other than to instill fear and terror.

Yet in spite of these terrible attacks, humanity has still managed to shine through.

Reports and videos are surfacing of the concertgoers dragging injured victims out of the path of gunfire and helping each other escape. As the attacks unfolded, Parisians began to offer shelter to those in need by using the hashtag “#PorteOuverte” on Twitter.  Isobel Bowdery, a concertgoer from South Africa, reported on Facebook about the courage she witnessed while lying on the ground of the Bataclan. She thanked a man who had reassured and covered her head while they were both pretending to be dead and strangers who had given her a ride and comforted her while she was waiting to hear news about her boyfriend, among others.

In Beirut, Lebanon, the day before, Adel Termos was spending time with his daughter in a commercial area of southern Beirut when he witnessed the first of two suicide bombings near a Shia mosque. He then noticed the second suicide bomber and tackled him to the ground, causing the vest to detonate prematurely, an effort that cost him his life. Dr. Elie Fares, a blogger and physician living in Lebanon, said, “There are many, many families, hundreds of families probably, who owe their completeness to his sacrifice.”

Undoubtedly, the airwaves will be taken over by talks of tactics and strategies, of alliances and summits, and of immigration policies and security crackdowns in response to these events. But let us take this moment to quietly grieve these terrible attacks on humanity.

We mourn the lives that were interrupted too early; we commend the bravery of the victims and survivors, and we admire the world’s immense capacity for love and solidarity in the face of hate.