SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) –
Syracuse University sophomore Julia Danan felt her stomach drop as she watched the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burn Monday afternoon, as did so many others across the world. However, the Cathedral holds a special place in Julia’s heart. Julia grew up in France, before moving to the U.S. and attending Syracuse. At first, she couldn’t believe her own eyes.
“You think about a building that has gone through so many wars and so much history and you’re like, that can’t be happening.”
As she texted friends across Europe, she began to understand just how big of an impact this tragic event was having. Most of all, Julia hated to see the historic spire go down.
“And then when I started to like, watching the news and reading about it, I was kind of heartbroken. Especially when I saw the spire fall. Watching the spire just completely tumble down was heartbreaking.”
Officials in Paris discovered the fire at around 12:45 p.m. eastern time. While French President Emmanuel Macron promised a rebuild of the cathedral, Julia doubts how much reconstruction could mend already deep wounds.
“They’re going to rebuild it, so obviously I’m happy about that but I’m wondering if it’s going to have the same significance.”
Macron has already made an effort in the several hours following the tragedy to build French morale. He’s spoken repeatedly to the media, and has mentioned the rebuild several times.
One positive note following the fire has been the amount of donations for the reconstruction of the Cathedral. As of Tuesday morning, the total donation money has exceeded $700 million.