The days after
An image by French artist Jean Jullien went viral in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris last weekend, which killed 136 people and injured 430.

The days after

In the aftermath of a high-profile terrorist attack in Paris, readers grieve, explore why other suffering gets no traction in the media, and suggest ways we can be good to one another

Howard Prussack

So much carnage and terrible news streaming from Paris. ISIS has managed to do what even the Nazis never did using just eight people to bring so much death to ordinary civilians.

What will the world do now - pray? I just don't think prayers will help the victims; I don't think ISIS cares so much for our collective prayers.

Why did this happen, from what spring of evil did this cancer of ISIS emerge? We can't kill a movement with bombs - a better idea, a better way, must be found.

Short term, I only see much misery and killing occurring. This won't be the end of it, I'm afraid.

Offer hope, offer help, reach out to friends and family. Stay strong.

Margaret Michniewicz

By far, the most beautifully I ever heard Cohen's “Hallelujah” sung was on a Paris morning in 2009. I was out on the balcony of the apartment we were renting in a quiet residential area of Montmartre, and up the empty street walked a man with a boy on his shoulders. The boy was singing.

Hallelujah, indeed - it was angelic. I'll never know if he is okay right now. His voice will remain in my head for as long as I live, though.

Derrik Jordan

At times like these of such brutality and inhumanity, we are blessed to be able to turn our efforts to our heartfelt expression through our respective artistic abilities.

Prayers are needed but not enough. We must make visible in the world the dream in our hearts of a better world.

Heidi Carrington Heath

Today, I'm spending the day with the person I love most in the world. We're doing things we enjoy and that feed our spirits. Tonight, we're cooking dinner at home together.

Because the best way I know how to respond to being surrounded by violence and tragedy is to fill the world with a little more love - and to keep living.

So, if you are reading this, I love you. Now give it away and tell someone you love them, too.

Paris, Lebanon, Mizzou, Japan: my heart is with you all.

Terry Martin

Wake up, America! We have a “Trojan Horse” already here and more coming as we keep such loose-open borders and a politically correct desire to take away our second-amendment Rights and other rights!

Margie Serkin

Why do people want to destroy things which are beautiful?

Emily Peyton

It's on my mind to spend my time tomorrow loving the ones closest to me - the parrots here, the horses, the dogs, and the people I will see - and to send what peace and love I can far away, to where it needs it.

But I will not - I will not - give my attention to the glorification of violence. I hope you don't, either. That's why they do it.

They won't do it if we don't watch.

Clara Rose Thornton

I know these matters are complicated. I fear the political uproar. As a journalist, as a poet, as a human, I feel only one fierce emotion: WHY.

Bob Phelps

I just heard from my friends in France that they are OK, but Paris itself might be another matter. I'm very happy to get this news and still understandably thinking of all others there today.

America stands with France and is in solidarity feeling its people's grief as its people have done the same for us so many times. My sincere thoughts of comfort are with all of my friends who have personal connections over there, as with the entire world, on yet another dark day.

This truly is, as have been the others, an attack against humanity and not merely one facet of such. And we will stand tall in that respect yet again.

Lay calm. Breathe. We shall all know more soon.

Steve Fortier

My heart is in Paris, as is yours, and as it is with any loss of life due to hatred and violence. My head has been all over the world over the past 20-plus hours.

As soon as I saw that Jihadi John had, purportedly, been killed on Nov. 12, I had a strong feeling that many more lives would be lost in retaliation. I actually thought an attack would take place on U.S. soil and am not convinced this is not inevitable.

I certainly hope that in their risk-assessment process, our military and intelligence leaders consider the reaction of the radical forces when we choose to take out one of their leaders - or in this case, just a bully.

Shanta L.E. Crowley

A reminder about why we should remember kindness. (Disclaimer: I am still learning this one.)

It often feels like the world is spinning on fire or out of control with all of the sadness taking place both in Brattleboro and all over the globe. I sometimes think about the people suffering in silence from places that we don't hear about.

My prayers are with everyone in Paris, including my loves.

My prayers and thoughts continue to include everyone in other parts of the world and in the Brattleboro community who are navigating loss and tragedy.

It is an opportunity to remember to be kind and present because the next moment is not promised to us.

And of course, I am still learning the ways of that road to being present and being kind.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

Vermonters and all Americans, and people of goodwill the world over, stand shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart with the people of France in sorrow and solidarity.

The repugnant and perverse impulses that misguided movements use to degrade human beings to commit such acts of barbarity have no place in the civilized world.

Steve West

It stuns me every time.

A) An orchestrated act of violence against innocent people in a “first world” country, and the world gasps and mourns, changes its Facebook profile pic, reminds us to pray while exacting vengeance, and then waits for the next attack.

But when B) acts of orchestrated violence against innocents happen on a daily basis, are funded by tax dollars, driven by profit motives, ordered by “leaders,” yet don't dominate the 24-hour “news” feed (despite literally the same number dying daily), the world shrugs and calls that “unfortunate.”

Which is how we get A.

Fran Lynggaard Hansen

I am so very tired of Muslim bashing. In Egypt, I am living among the most peaceful people I've ever met. What are the haters afraid of?

There are horrible people in every single religion on earth. Let's all look in our own backyards and take care of our own closets before we drag others out of theirs.

Betsy Jaffe

I know we can do better. Our humanity, measured by the violence, environmental destruction, discrimination, and headlines, is a tragic sum of where we sit today.

I am sad that my children and their peers are growing up with this on our watch - it's not good enough. Hate, fear, and recklessness are costing us more than we can repay. This cannot be our legacy.

I am dedicated to being among the helpers - to show up and make sure that love prevails and that we address complicated problems with thoughtful, caring solutions.

We need to take care of one another and the world we live in. We are smarter - we are better - than this, and we need to create room for an optimistic future for the many generations to come.

Michelle Stephens

I haven't changed my picture on Facebook to be of Paris or the French flag. It isn't because I don't care.

It is because I do care. I care about every single soul out there who is in danger. Who has been terrorized. Who is in fear.

I care about Paris and Beirut. I care about Israel and Syria.

Changing my photo won't change anything. Raising strong, peaceful, intelligent children might. Donating money and goods might. Sending out positive thoughts and prayers might.

I am not against the profile picture changes. It warms my heart to see folks unite. I just couldn't pick which flag to represent when so many are under attack.

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