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Notre Dame: To grieve or not to grieve?

At+12%3A43+p.m.+on+Monday%2C+April+15%2C+Paris+authorities+were+alerted+of+a+fire+alarm+in+the+historic+Notre+Dame+cathedral.+
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Notre Dame: To grieve or not to grieve?

At 12:43 p.m. on Monday, April 15, Paris authorities were alerted of a fire alarm in the historic Notre Dame cathedral.

At 12:43 p.m. on Monday, April 15, Paris authorities were alerted of a fire alarm in the historic Notre Dame cathedral.

Photo courtesy of Google under the Creative Commons license

At 12:43 p.m. on Monday, April 15, Paris authorities were alerted of a fire alarm in the historic Notre Dame cathedral.

Photo courtesy of Google under the Creative Commons license

Photo courtesy of Google under the Creative Commons license

At 12:43 p.m. on Monday, April 15, Paris authorities were alerted of a fire alarm in the historic Notre Dame cathedral.

Molly Higgins, features writer

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At 12:43 p.m. on Monday, April 15, Paris authorities were alerted of a fire alarm in the historic Notre Dame cathedral. Local firefighters worked against the flames and were able to put out the fire after 12 hours, but significant damage had already been done to the landmark. The fire and its aftermath devastated the people of Paris and resonated with others worldwide. Within three days, more than $1 billion had been raised to repair the cherished cathedral.

What seemed to be an international tragedy has quickly grown into a controversial topic. People turned to social media to mourn the loss, but also to add a picture from their glamorous trip to Paris. While a majority of the posts had good intentions, many seemed to be a way to brag about their trip rather than show support.

Rebuilding the monument is important, but in the end the overwhelming financial support could have been more effectively used to resolve other social issues. The continuous lack of clean water in Flint, Michigan, the destruction of sacred Native American lands or the recent terrorist bombings in Sri Lanka are just a few significant concerns. Multi-million dollar donations from the French as well as other nations prove that many social issues could be solved easily if rich people felt inclined to help.

Rebuilding the monument is important, but in the end the overwhelming financial support could have been more effectively used to resolve other social issues.”

In France, a group known as the Yellow Vests have started several, often violent, riots protesting the direction of the financial aid. The Yellow Vests have been taking a stand against French socioeconomic inequality, a cause that could absolutely use donations, for years. Millions of people in France live below the poverty line, but the money flowing towards Notre Dame is a clear indication of where the wealthy’s priorities lie. Through their protests, the Yellow Vests hope to convince the donors that donations to France’s impoverished are more important than rebuilding the cathedral.

Many people turned to religion and sacredness of the cathedral to justify the financial support, but that argument has been quickly shut down. Regardless of religious ideology, in the end it comes down to a choice between aid for people who are struggling or repairs for stained glass windows.

 

About the Writer
Molly Higgins, features writer

Interests: Theater, piano, photography, traveling when I get the chance
Favorite food: Quality iced coffee
Favorite quote: “i just drove through harvard’s...

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Notre Dame: To grieve or not to grieve?