Readers React: Weep for Notre Dame, but remember — the fire did not extinguish Paris’ resolve to rebuild it

Cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris fire aftermath, France - 16 Apr 2019
Flowers are left on a bridge in Paris near Notre Dame after a massive fire destroyed the cathedral’s roof on April 15.
(Christophe Petit Tesson / EPA/Shutterstock)

To the editor: As I read about the fire at Notre Dame in Paris, my heart ached, and my mind returned to another “lady” — my mom. I was feeling as I did years ago when my mother descended deep into dementia. I was losing her, and nothing I could do could stop the descent.

So it went with Notre Dame. This religious and architectural treasure that had been mine to enjoy during the two months I spent in Paris was disintegrating.

I weep now for Notre Dame, for the people of Paris, and for the people of the world. As a Roman Catholic, during this Holy Week, I reflect on the words of Jesus, “I will rebuild this temple,” as well as the words of French President Emmanuel Macron: “This Notre Dame Cathedral, we will rebuild it.”

Life is indeed many repetitions of death and resurrection, and the outpouring of support for the rebuilding of Notre Dame will help me rise from my sorrow.


Darlene A. Pienta, Indian Wells


To the editor: As an aficionado of architecture, and as a visitor to Paris who has marveled at the Notre Dame cathedral with my family, I was naturally shocked and saddened to see images of the inferno.

As a Muslim, I send my thoughts and prayers to the worshipers at this storied structure, in the same way many people prayed for those at all houses of worship where tragedy struck recently (the burned black churches in Louisiana, the vandalized Jewish synagogues, and the desecrated Sikh Gurdwaras and Hindu temples).


The holy Koran speaks of all houses of worship and the need to protect and defend them. I pray that full restoration of Notre Dame happens soon, and worshipers and visitors alike can return to this precious symbol of faith and now strength in France.

Ahsan M. Khan, Fullerton


To the editor: Gustave Eiffel, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and Richard Morris Hunt worked together to design, sculpt and build the Statue of Liberty to give to the United States as a gift from the people of France.

In light of the devastating fire at Notre Dame, maybe the United States should make a large donation to France to help with its restoration.

Vicki Justis, Santa Monica


To the editor: We all share the pain and deep sadness for the loss of Notre Dame as if we were the responsible ones who forgot to turn the stove off.


This tragedy will not be marked by the image of the toppling spire, but instead by our unified energy and shared human will to rebuild our house.

Andy Leeka, La Cañada Flintridge

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