“Pray For Nice” Memes & Tweets Decry How Horrifyingly Common These Kinds Of Events Have Become
Update: According to the latest reports, at least 84 people were killed in the attack in Nice, France, and over 180 are injured. Of the wounded, François Hollande, the president of France, said on Friday there are 50 victims “in between life and death." After an emergency meeting of French security and defense officials, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: "Terrorism is a threat that weighs heavily upon France and will continue to weigh for a long time. We are facing a war that terrorism has brought to us." Among the victims, who were celebrating the French holiday of Bastille Day, were a number of tourists, including two Americans, Sean Copelend and his 11-year-old son, Brodie. To help victims of the Bastille Day attack, you can contribute to verified fundraisers or donate blood.
Earlier: During a Thursday night celebration of Bastille Day in Nice, France, a truck crashed into the crowd; according to French officials, dozens are reportedly dead. In the immediate aftermath, the hashtag “Pray for Nice” spread across Twitter — with many of the “Pray for Nice” memes and tweets carrying the same message: These kinds of events have become horrifyingly common. When will it end? And perhaps more importantly, what are we all going to do to make that end come about?
The precise situation in Nice remains unclear, but what we do know is that during a Bastille Day celebration, a truck crashed on Promenade des Anglais, with the death toll possibly having climbed to 70, according to police. It has not been determined whether the crash is a terrorist attack.
And as has become our habit in the age of the internet, people across the globe are coming together on Twitter offer support and express an array of emotions, from grief to anger. The hashtag under which much of it is occurring is a familiar one — and the fact that it is so familiar is devastating in and of itself. We’ve seen “Pray for Nice” before: We saw it in Turkey after the suicide bombing in Istanbul; we saw it in Brussels after the airport attack; and we saw it in Orlando a mere month ago after the Pulse nightclub shooting. And although the words might not be exactly the same, we’ve seen echoes of it in other places, too: Je Suis Paris, for example.
And the fact that all of these hashtags, so similar to each other, and the events that prompted them, have all occurred in less than a year is truly, truly horrifying.
This time, “Pray for Nice” is full not only of grief and support, but of outrage — outrage that this is happening again, and that we still have not made any progress on what might be done to stop it.
It’s a powerful message, and it’s a call to action. Because we can’t just pray for Nice. We need to do something about it.
Different City, Same Hashtag
A Call To Action
We Are Not OK
It's Come To This
Too Common, Indeed
Far Too Common
A Horrifying Truth
Pray For Humanity
Because Prayers Are Not Enough
What We Need
So Much Sorrow
What Needs To Happen Is This...
And The Point Is This
"Pray for Nice" can't be about making ourselves feel better about it. It has to be about spurring us to do something about it in real, tangible ways. Here are a few ways to start. Because the only way we can succeed as human beings all living on this big, blue planet together is to help each other.
Image: Dawn Foster/Bustle