Monday, November 16, 2015

moment de silence

The morning was grey and foreboding, like a day better served being avoided or an alley best not ventured into.

We arrived to school, and we were told that at noon there would be a moment of silence for the whole school in the courtyard for the victims of the terror attack in Paris.

All morning, we discussed the attacks in French class through drawings and caricatures.  A headmaster came in to check the attendance and verify that any missing students could be accounted for.

The morning passed in a cold grey dullness.

At noon, the whole school gathered in the courtyard.  A headmaster explained that we would have a moment of silence to honor those killed in Paris.  A soft siren began to wail across the city.  I closed my eyes, and thought of Prague as a student standing for another moment of silence many years ago.

I murmured the Mourner's Kadish under my breath. Yitgadal, v'yitkadesh....

Amid the siren, the noon churchbell punctuated the silence.  It rang loud and clear, again and again.

I thought back to another time, standing in silence in Japan as we honored those who died in Hiroshima--a differnt bell punctuating the somber silence.

The siren and the church bells ended almost in harmony,

My eyes remain closed.  I listened for another moment to the sounds of children laughing in a nearby school.  A reminder that life continues.

As I opened my eyes, the grey skies were beginning to pass and blue azure was beginning to peek through.

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