On November 13, 2015, a group of Islamic terrorists coordinated multiple attacks on the city of Paris France, leading the French government to call a state of emergency after mass shootings, hostage taking and suicide bombings that killed 130 people and injured 368 more.
These attacks affected not only everyone in Paris, but every country around the world, putting a mark on history and everyone’s memory.
A Paris resident, Claire Waddington is still deeply showed up except me and her sister. Her sister checked and told us. My friends and family from all over the world were calling and didn't know where I was” she explained her experiences that day, “I had left the city to a friend's birthday dinner, which was rare for me,” she said. “I would usually be in Paris centre.”
Waddington says she turned on the TV to check the news to get details of what was happening. She was stunned and deeply shaken up. “The thought, ‘this is us, this is us this time’ is all I could think. They had targeted all of us, they had targeted my friends, we all go to these places” she said.
Because Waddington is a well known Periscope user and has many friends in Paris and around the world, she wanted to check on her friends when the unthinkable happened, “I went into shock when I discovered my friend was in there [the Bataclan] and his phone switched off. On discovering by news alert that an estimated 100 people were dead in the Bataclan I went into a full blown panic attack and my friends had to hold me and calm me down.”
After the attacks ended, Waddington learned about the aftermath and the tragic stories from her friends. One of her close friends was friends with the band “Eagles of Death Metal” and had back stage passes. Her friend saw everything that happened in the theatre and his neighbour standing next to him was shot dead in the face.
“My friend Nathalie says her neighbour lost 15 people; neighbours, colleagues and close friends,” she said.
Waddington did not only have friends affected at the Bataclan Theatre, but also at the restaurant shootings, “My other friend was dining opposite Le Petit Cambodge and Le Carillon with her mother. The three restaurants are very very close together, just a step or so away, it's a narrow spot. She saw everything.”
“My poor friend Solène was parking her scooter, heard shots, turned around and discovered the horrific attack on the Belle Equipe. She has checked herself into the mental health ward of the hospital for 2 weeks. I am going to visit her” she said.
Days after the attacks, she was able to use Periscope as a therapeutic technique to get her mind off the tragic attacks. She Periscoped a live stream every day afterwards, leaving one red rose at each location that was targeted by the attacks. “I couldn't bother my friends with my pain as we were all in shock and all mourning and each of them has their own stories. The love and support I got from my Periscope friends and viewers was overwhelming and carried me, it helped me so much” she explained.
After the cleanup, Waddington says that locations and popular monuments were empty, but Parisians continued their every day lives, by staying strong after the tragedy and everyone is sticking to the frequently used slogan “même pas peur”, meaning “not afraid”. “More people are helping others,” she said. “Solidarity is evident. I noticed this after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, but it's intensified now.”
But although she wonders if she will ever be the same after these attacks, but she says “I'm not living in a war zone. I live in Paris. I won't live in fear.”