Reader reactions to the fire at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris have ranged from outrage at the French government, which some readers say neglected to take proper care of the vulnerable icon, to foreboding, after another great symbol of sanctuary in the world was almost destroyed.
“With the destruction of the giant Buddhas in Afghanistan and the ancient monuments in Palmyra,” wrote Sergio, a reader in New York, “it’s difficult not to feel that we are entering another Dark Age.”
More comments from readers, selected from responses to an essay by Pamela Druckerman, “We Were the Caretakers of Notre-Dame. We Failed,” and a column by Roger Cohen, “A Cathedral for a Fragile Age,” are below. They have been edited for length and clarity.
Notre Dame was saved from total destruction by the intelligent and heroic efforts of the Paris Fire Brigade, a French Army unit who directed their efforts at saving the basic structure and maintaining the basis for rebuilding. It will be a centerpiece for artisans and engineers from around the world to demonstrate their skills. This was not the case at the end of World War II, when many cathedrals were destroyed and the prospect of rebuilding paled in significance to the more immediate needs of survival. I recall walking through the streets of Caen in Normandy after allied bombing had reduced it to rubble. That was, and is, a failure of civilization. — Gerard M., New Jersey
After I stopped crying about the news of Notre-Dame de Paris burning I got angry, very angry. Somehow this structure of unsurpassed beauty and relevance to Western culture and tradition, which has been protected, revered, and unscathed in Paris since medieval times, was nearly burned to the ground in 2019, a time which has technology capable of exploding a hydrogen bomb, sending men to the moon and peering into the furnace of a black hole. The hubris of mankind never ceases to amaze me. — Winthropo Muchacho, Durham, N.C.
My husband and children are French, and a good deal of my love story takes place in the shadow of Notre Dame. I watched the French news coverage from across the world, as if I were sitting vigil by a gravely ill relative. The loss is a hollow feeling. At the same time, it’s strangely refreshing to watch a catastrophe that is not a terrorist attack or the result of climate change or some other manifestation of human beings being terrible to one another or to our planet. There is no one to hate, no one to blame. — Sheila, Reno, Nev.
All Churches in France built before 1789 are the property of the state and so it is the government who is charged with maintaining the building. Something went very wrong here. For more than 40 years I have gone to Notre Dame to sit, contemplate and light candles. I’ll never get my Cathedral back. — Kazolias, Paris
The true sadness lies in knowing that so much of the artistry that went into creating that treasure trove of French culture is irreplaceable. An ancient civilization like the French can look upon structures like Notre Dame as a reflection of themselves. Therein lies the sadness. Time is fleeting, but relics and monuments of ancient times remind us that leaving something enduring is what defines a civilization. I despise using disasters as a reason for reflection. I believe that we should reflect daily on what’s important in our lives. But I do hope that this disaster impels people to think more about protecting our treasures because while the cathedral can be rebuilt, it will never be the same. — Manhattan William, New York
Five days after the Twin Towers went down, my husband and I took a previously planned vacation to Paris. We were one of the first planes to fly out of New York again and we arrived like shell shocked refugees. The human kindness of Parisians was overwhelming. This fire is a tragedy of tremendous scope. While no one lost their life, the loss of beauty, art and hundreds of years of history cannot be replaced. — Kathryn, New York
It’s stuff. God doesn’t care about stuff. Maybe God is actually trying to make a lesson of this. It was a beautiful building, but at the end of the day, knowing that people will starve to death tonight or freeze to death tonight or be abused tonight are the real failures of society, not that a building burned. — Joseph Avellino, New Jersey
Notre Dame survived the conflicts of the Middle Ages, famine, plague, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, and the world aflame during two World Wars. And now, to succumb to some trivial industrial accident, such as bad electrical wiring or a misplaced rag soaked with linseed oil? It forces contemplation of what we really have in the end. We are so fragile and ephemeral. We can take nothing for granted. We must endeavor to be vigilant caretakers of what we have left. — Blue Moon, Pueblo, Colo.
We have become somewhat complacent about culture. With an abundance of images of landmarks and priceless fragments of our shared civilization at our fingertips, just one click away, it seems as if they have acquired a type of immortality, always attainable and existent. I think this terrible tragedy is a wake up call that we have to provide monetary support for their restoration and preservation. We must show respect for culture through our pocket books, not merely through passive admiration and appreciation. — Evie, Hungary
America has also failed as a caretaker of our priceless things — national parks, rural places, schools, communities, democracy. This afternoon in my home in Vermont, so far away from Paris, I remembered my visit there and felt loss, an intense and visceral emotion that kept me glued to the television. This is one of those moments when we need to remember that life is fleeting, and so are the things we create. We are all helpless together. — Sheila Blanchette, Exeter, N.H.
It hurts to the bone to see an artifact going down which was built by carrying each stone, by hand, to the place where it sits today. It survived revolutions, two world wars, once-in-a-thousand-year storms! It went down in this 21st century, the age of tricycle helmets and five-point belts in every baby carriage, for no good reason at all. Yes, we failed. — Peter Schneider, Berlin
We live in a time when great treasures burn, like history itself, when fraudulent ideas masquerade as truth, bombarding everyone at every moment. It is clear to me that we’ve failed as a civilization to care for and protect something else which is also priceless: liberal democracy. It is falling to the far right and the hard left, which are equally contemptuous of things like due process and free speech. — Robert B, Brooklyn, N.Y.
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【此】【时】【的】【风】【雪】【山】【庄】【已】【经】【陷】【入】【了】【战】【斗】【的】【一】【片】【焦】【灼】【之】【中】，【王】【邪】【这】【一】【边】【和】【对】【方】【进】【行】【的】【贴】【身】【搏】【斗】，【当】【然】【只】【能】【说】【是】【单】【方】【面】【的】。 【王】【邪】【一】【直】【在】【努】【力】【靠】【近】【对】【手】，【而】【对】【方】【不】【断】【后】【退】，【用】【枪】【逼】【开】【两】【个】【人】【的】【距】【离】，【毕】【竟】【他】【知】【道】【以】【王】【邪】【那】【样】【的】【体】【型】【优】【势】【一】【旦】【靠】【近】【自】【己】，【绝】【对】【没】【有】【任】【何】【胜】【算】。 【王】【邪】【凭】【借】【着】【身】【上】【的】【报】【警】【系】【统】【和】【对】【方】【打】【的】【有】【来】【有】【回】，
【贞】【娘】【也】【只】【是】【知】【道】【柿】【饼】【要】【经】【过】【挑】【选】、【洗】【果】、【去】【皮】【和】【干】【制】，【至】【于】【具】【体】【过】【程】【中】【的】【技】【术】【问】【题】，【她】【并】【不】【十】【分】【清】【楚】。【她】【是】【借】【了】【清】【和】【子】【的】【名】【头】【跟】【肖】【氏】【说】【的】，【说】【的】【也】【是】【半】【清】【不】【楚】，【只】【是】【个】【大】【概】，【打】【的】【就】【是】【个】【摸】【着】【石】【头】【过】【河】【的】【主】【意】。【她】【是】【想】【着】【即】【便】【不】【能】【都】【做】【成】【柿】【子】【饼】，【只】【要】【成】【功】【率】【有】60%-70%，【多】【摸】【索】【个】【一】【两】【年】，【肯】【定】【会】【有】【进】【步】【的】。【在】香港铁算盘 4887铁算【宗】【政】【无】【情】，【我】【还】【真】【是】【小】【看】【了】【你】，【即】【便】【中】【了】【我】【的】【毒】，【你】【还】【是】【能】【用】【内】【力】【化】【开】【它】。 …… 【沈】【玉】【棠】【发】【现】【庄】【园】【里】【一】【时】【间】【突】【然】【多】【了】【好】【多】【人】，【心】【里】【疑】【惑】，【却】【没】【想】【到】。 【想】【问】【抓】【一】【个】【人】【问】【一】【下】，【但】【却】【又】【怕】【被】【人】【怀】【疑】。 【不】【过】【她】【陡】【然】【想】【到】【一】【个】【问】【题】。【就】【是】【所】【有】【人】【都】【在】【各】【自】【聚】【精】【会】【神】【找】【着】【什】【么】。【她】【为】【什】【么】【不】【趁】【这】【个】【机】【会】【的】【再】【次】【溜】【出】【去】
【就】【这】【样】【被】【渔】【民】【给】【捞】【上】【了】【船】，【终】【于】【可】【以】【离】【开】【这】【水】【底】【了】。 “【哎】，【咋】【啥】【都】【没】【有】【呀】？”【老】【渔】【民】【看】【着】【空】【荡】【荡】【的】【网】【子】，【叹】【了】【口】【气】【说】【道】。 【水】【玲】【珑】：【她】【这】【么】【大】【个】【儿】【的】【鱼】【盘】【在】【这】【里】【面】【躺】【着】，【难】【道】【没】【看】【见】【吗】？ 【船】【上】【的】【老】【头】【开】【始】【整】【理】【他】【的】【渔】【网】，【看】【样】【子】【是】【想】【重】【新】【再】【撒】【一】【次】【网】。 【水】【玲】【珑】【就】【在】【这】【网】【子】【里】【待】【着】，【她】【不】【信】，【等】【这】【老】【头】【儿】【把】
【萧】【单】【冬】：…… 【苏】【木】：…… 【有】【了】【钱】【就】【这】【么】【硬】【气】？ 【许】【诺】【说】【的】【非】【常】【大】【声】【且】【理】【直】【气】【壮】。【这】【让】【收】【拾】【餐】【桌】【的】【艾】【笑】【给】【听】【见】【了】。 【她】【严】【肃】【得】【眯】【起】【眼】【睛】，【朝】【他】【走】【了】【过】【去】。 “【许】【诺】，【你】【刚】【刚】【说】【你】【要】【拿】【着】【压】【岁】【钱】【做】【什】【么】？” “【妈】……【妈】【妈】……” 【一】【看】【到】【艾】【笑】，【许】【诺】【刚】【刚】【嚣】【张】【的】【气】【焰】【全】【都】【没】【了】。 【明】【明】【钱】【在】【他】【手】【里】，
【无】【极】【之】【渊】： 【焱】【魔】：“【穹】【奇】【大】【人】，【事】【情】【已】【经】【办】【好】【了】。”【焱】【魔】【面】【无】【表】【情】【的】【说】。 【穹】【奇】：“【好】【了】，【我】【知】【道】【了】。【对】【了】，【小】【焱】。【给】【你】【看】【一】【个】【人】。” 【焱】【魔】：“【嗯】？” 【穹】【奇】：“【出】【来】【吧】。”【一】【到】【身】【影】【从】【穹】【奇】【身】【后】【出】【现】，【在】【看】【清】【楚】【来】【的】【人】【的】【身】【影】【之】【后】，【焱】【魔】【大】【惊】【说】【到】：“【竟】【然】【是】【你】！！！” 【怎】【么】【看】【到】【我】【这】【么】【惊】【讶】【么】，【墨】
【艾】【六】【眼】【前】【是】【白】【色】【城】【堡】【那】【空】【旷】【宏】【伟】【的】【内】【部】，【两】【侧】【的】【旋】【转】【楼】【梯】【盘】【旋】【向】【上】，【延】【伸】【至】【的】【最】【高】【处】【平】【台】，【有】【一】【张】【白】【玉】【色】【的】【宝】【座】，【一】【个】【有】【着】【一】【头】【莹】【白】【色】【头】【发】【的】【女】【人】【正】【坐】【在】【上】【面】。 【她】【平】【静】【地】【坐】【在】【那】，【像】【是】【没】【有】【看】【到】【艾】【六】【一】【样】，【没】【有】【丝】【毫】【动】【作】。 “【如】【你】【所】【愿】，【我】【来】【到】【这】【里】【了】。”【艾】【六】【用】【她】【那】【独】【特】【的】【清】【冷】【嗓】【音】【说】【道】。 “【哦】？【你】【已】【经】