Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
photo of corn field
photo of corn field
Aaron Burden/Unsplash

A Time to Be Thankful

The holidays present us with a time to gather with our family and friends, to be happy, and to be grateful. With the numerous global atrocities that took place over the weekend of November 13th – 15th Thanksgiving could not be coming at a better time.

Regardless of time or place, I am usually on board with the glorious food-filled holiday that is Thanksgiving. But this year, I will count my blessings tenfold. I was in Paris the night of the Paris terror attacks. I have been studying abroad in England for the past few months and a few friends and I decided to take a trip to Paris for a weekend. We were getting food from a street vendor in the city center when we first gained knowledge of the attacks. Checking our phones for twitter updates and messages from loved ones, we evacuated on the metro to the south of the city with hundreds of others. An immanent sense of panic and fear spread from one face to another as we all stood merely centimeters from each other in the crowded train car. Only a few people spoke, French of course, and all I could understand were the numbers they delicately murmured – the current death toll. Heels pounding the concrete were the only sounds I heard as we exited the train at the last stop. My friends and I walked the half an hour journey back to our apartment along the now deserted side streets of Paris. All we did for the next several hours was watch the news until about four the next morning.

My heart breaks for the lives lost due to the attacks. 

The event gave me an incredible firsthand perspective. Not that it should take a terrorist attack to give me this, but I began looking at life itself through a new lens. I came to Paris to explore and see the sights. I still got the chance to see the city, but I got to see the human side that tourists don’t often get. There was not only a great feeling of unification among the people in Paris after that horrible night, but a great support from other countries, as well. Humanity joining together over a greater, more sinister cause is one of the best feelings in the world. We are at our strongest when we unite. Great minds think alike, but it is also great minds that come together and think differently that allow for us to progress as a global community. These current events have become more than just country-specific. They are now about humanity.

I am unbelievably thankful for so many liberties this Thanksgiving. For my family. For my friends. For my safety and security. For the unity of likeminded people. For love.

Anyone you know could be here today and gone tomorrow.

Take a minute. And think about yourself as an individual. Now think about your family and friends. The region you live in. Your country. The hemisphere. The world.

This thanksgiving, what are you thankful for?

Originally hailing from northern Wisconsin, McKenna is a double major in Philosophy and English with a concentration in creative writing. She is passionate about reading and writing all things sci fi.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️