Friday, 15 July 2016

Thoughts on the Nice Attacks

Investigators sift through the carnage and bullet-riddled truck in Nice
There is shocking news out of Nice, France this afternoon Vancouver time, where at least 84 people were killed after a large white truck drove onto the Promenade des Anglais which was full of people celebrating Bastille Day.

Details are still sketchy, but it seems like a man known to police for petty crimes drove the truck into the crowd, and police tried desperately to stop it, shooting bullets into the windshield until the driver was "neutralized".

The scene just over a year ago on Promenade des Anglais
This latest attack happened eight months after the Paris ones, where gunmen and suicide bombers almost simultaneously hit a concert hall, major stadium, restaurants and bars that left 130 dead on November 13.

It is chilling to think about because on July 8 last year, we visited Nice, walking along the Promenade des Anglais too, though in the daytime.

It was quite hot that day, no clouds in the sky, as we walked along the strip by the ocean. A few months earlier mainland Chinese billionaire Li Jinyuan made headlines when he took 6,400 staff on a paid vacation to France, including a visit to Nice, where they occupied a big chunk of the promenade.

There isn't sand on the beach, but rounded rocks, so we gingerly made our way down to the water, took off our shoes and waded into the crystal blue water though it was quite cold! It was amazing to see some people swimming in there.

The clear blue water was quite chilly for July!
Those are my memories of Nice and so it is shocking to hear the horrific news of what happened there several hours ago.

In the coming days, weeks and months we will find out more details of who was behind the attacks and why. But the fact that it happened on July 14, France's national day which represents freedom, has left people in shock, but hopefully with the resolve to carry on with courage.

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