A day at the United Nations and Red Cross Museum ended with fireworks. A day centered around peace and freedom to then end in tragedy. My son was asleep when the news came to me and I let those contacting us know we were ok.
The day was spent seeing letters to those missing after conflict or imprisonment able to connect with help from the Red Cross. It was moving to hear their stories and be exposed to the tragedy of hate. It would be only hours later that we are in the country struck by a horrific event, my heart breaks for those families and for all of us once again reminded to stay aware, be on alert, yet work more importantly to work towards peace.
There is a statue on the path up to the United Nations of Ghandi which has his words engraved on it stating, “My life is my message.” That is what I believe for all of us, that how we live our lives is the message we send to the world we are part of. It starts with ourselves, then our children and then spreads to our communities we are a part of.
The Red Cross Museum had stories of people who were making a difference one person at a time. They also had artwork that demonstrated the creativity of those imprisoned which spoke to me as they did not become hateful of their circumstance they kept hope alive as Nelson Mandella did.
We are all on our own path and yet when tragic events strike we come together as one in the hope for peace around the world. We walked again to our village in France as an expression of solitarity with the world. We are from New York I told a woman who said many tourist are afraid to come to France. We know their pain and we know not to live in fear or those who have hate win.
She smiled and said “ah, yes New York.” That is right, New York. We are a resilient bunch. I felt proud to walk with my son to show him stay on your path, be kind and work to spread peace throughout the world, starting today in France.