Today, as my stay in my hometown continued, I drove out to visit my high school. I had one purpose in visiting this particular location: to enjoy the view, which is breathtaking. I did not enjoy high school. Those four years were some of the hardest and unhappiest of my life. I don’t care a bit for the building or most of the memories it holds. I was there today only for what I could see when my back was turned away from that drab brick structure. And now, as I ponder the sad and senseless tragedy in Nice, France on this Bastille Day, I find myself thinking of high school. Realizing that my mind would turn to thoughts of high school even if I hadn’t been on site this very day. Why? Because it was in that building where I learned to speak French. I learned about French culture and sampled French cuisine. It was in a history classroom in that school where I learned about France’s recognition of and assistance to the fledgling United States during the American Revolution. Where I became aware of the mutual admiration and close friendship between George Washington and the Marquis de LaFayette. Where I watched a documentary on the origins and history of the French Revolution. I read Le Petit Prince and played Mille Bournes, and was elected French Club vice president. I studied in France during my sophomore year with my best friend as my roommate and travel companion.
France has been our country’s ally and friend from the beginning. I am heartsick over what has happened in Nice. I am devastated and disgusted over the state of our nation, and the world. I am sad and angry and confused. I want to wake up from this nightmare that keeps playing out over and over again in different places. I cannot begin to understand the hearts and minds of those who would kill innocent people. I don’t know why such hatred exists in the world. It is easy to question why God doesn’t seem to be stepping in to avert the plans of those who would kill and destroy, why He isn’t doing more to stop terrorism and stamp out animosity and evil. The better question is, why aren’t we?