On Friday November 13, 2015, the world was shocked as the Islamic terrorist group ISIS carried out several violent attacks in Paris, France leaving 129 people dead and more than 350 injured. The horrific terrorism began around 9:20 PM when two suicide bombers set off explosives at the State de France stadium, where French President Hollande was in attendance watching a France versus Germany soccer match. Five minutes later, islamic extremists opened fire with Kalashnikov-style assault rifles at several restaurants around the city.
At 9:40 PM three attackers also armed with assault rifles entered the Bataclan, a venue where Parisians were enjoying an American blues/rock band from California, the Eagles of Death Metal. It is here where the vast majority of the deaths occurred. Many people were killed execution style as the terrorists shouted “Allah akbar” in Arabic, which roughly translates to “God is Great”.
The world has watched in stunned silence as France tries to pick up the pieces and carry on. While French President Hollande has pledged to “lead a war which will be pitiless”, there has been an outpouring of support and solidarity from around the world. Iconic monuments like the Statue of Liberty in the United States, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil and London’s Tower Bridge lit up in the blue, white and red colors of the French flag. Celebrities around the world have also used their power, influence and sympathy on social media to stand in unison with the people of Paris. Here are some of the most poignant celebrity reactions:
10. Khloe Kardashian
Khloe Kardashian took to her Instagram page where she posted this photo of blue, white and red flowers with the phrase “Pray for Paris” across it. She accompanied the photo with this quote from President Obama: “Once again, we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians. This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.” Khloe’s social media support for the people of France quickly gathered hundreds of thousands of likes and more than 5,000 comments.
9. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is America’s Sweetheart and one of the best selling musical artists of all time. In 2015, she became the youngest woman ever to be named to the Forbes “100 Most Powerful Women” list, coming in at number 64. Clearly, Taylor is a very influential figure in celebrity pop culture with fans all over the world. She took to her Instagram and Twitter pages to post this photo, presumably of her overlooking the great City of Paris, and offered these somber words: “Praying for Paris. Our hearts are breaking for and with you.” With more than a million likes on Instagram and nearly 50,000 re-Tweets her message was noticed.
8. Kelly Rowland
Kelly Rowland is best known for being a member of the band Destiny’s Child with Beyonce, during the 1990s. In response to the terrorist attacks in Paris she took to her Twitter page to post this hand drawn photo of the Statue of Liberty kneeling in sorrow and deep emotion in front of the Eiffel Tower, an iconic French landmark. With tears streaming down her face, Lady Liberty portrays the broken heart of much of the world. Kelly writes, “How many people know that the Statue of Liberty was a gift to the US by the people of France?”, giving us all a little perspective on the long history of kindness The United States has had with France.
7. Katie Holmes
Katie Holmes rose to fame when she portrayed Joey Potter on the iconic WB television show Dawson’s Creek, in the late 1990s. She later shocked us when she married and had a child with Tom Cruise. On Friday, Katie took to social media to post this photo of One World Trade Center lit up in the blue, white and red colors of the French flag. She didn’t have any words for us, just simply the hashtag “#prayforparis”. However, Katie’s post speaks volumes considering One World Trade Center, also known as The Freedom Tower, is built where the former World Trade Center twin towers stood and where terrorism claimed thousands of lives on September 11, 2001.
6. Arnold Schwarznegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger is our favorite bodybuilder turned Hollywood Actor turned Governor of California. Best known for his many iconic movie roles in movies such as Total Recall, The Terminator movies and Predator, no one can deny his massive box office success. Arnold took to Twitter Friday night and expressed these words: “My heart breaks for France. Sending thoughts & prayers to the victims, their families & all of your citizens. Liberté, égalité, fraternité.” The three French words at the end translate to freedom, equality and fraternity, which was the popular cry during the French Revolution in the late 1700s. His use of French words shows solidarity and support for the people of France.
Madonna is best known for, well … what isn’t she best known for? Perhaps she’s best known for her attitude and she certainly didn’t let us down with her Instagram post when she wrote: “We Are All Immigrants‼️ We all bleed the same color……We are all ONE. Pray For Peace!” Clearly Madonna was denouncing the reaction of some Americans who were calling for a stop on immigration and closing of the borders. She reminded us that we are all Immigrants and more importantly, that were are all human, we are one and we shouldn’t judge an entire race of people or religion based on the few extremists who carried out the horrific violence in Paris.
4. The So-So Glos
The So So Glo’s are a punk rock band known mostly in and around New York City. They have toured all across the United States and Europe, entertaining thousands with their unique sound. They took to their Twitter page to post a picture of the rock and roll horns adorned in the blue, white and red of the French flag. They wrote: “This one’s for the kids murdered senselessly in Le Bataclán. All they wanted was to see the Rock ‘n’ Roll show. RIP.” Their social media post reminds us so clearly that life is short and fragile and it is unthinkable that people simply trying to enjoy a concert were so viciously attacked.
3. David Beckham
David Beckham is arguably one of the greatest soccer players of all time. He once lived in Paris when he played for football team Paris Saint-Germain. Married to Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham, David took to his Instagram to post this photo of the sun rising above the now somber city he, at one time, called home. He wrote: “As the sun rises in this beautiful city we remember the people that have died and the families that have lost loved ones… Our thoughts are with you all”. His photo reminds us that the sun will rise again and we need to keep in mind that although many have lost their lives, there are also many family members who are hurting in the wake of their loss.
2. Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is one part of the Hollywood power couple known as “brangelina”. The other part is her husband Brad Pitt. Together the two of them have adopted six children around the world and are well known for their numerous humanitarian efforts. Angelina got a little frustrated that the terrorism in Paris got so much media and world attention, yet the terrorist attacks by ISIS in Beirut, Lebanon have received little to no attention. She quickly took to her social media pages to chastise: “While everyone is talking about Paris, no one mentions the ISIS attack in Lebanon. I pray for both countries.” Jolie has since removed her comments, but she does have an important point. Terrorism is happening everyday, we shouldn’t only pay attention when it is a western-influenced city like Paris. All terrorism, everywhere needs to stop.
1. Barack Obama
Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States shared his outrage over the terrorist behavior in Paris when he addressed the nation and world by saying: “Once again we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians. This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.” He has vowed to help France, one of The United States’ oldest allies in anything they need to investigate the terrorism and seek justice.