Why the Notre Dame Cathedral fire is significant

Staff Editorial

The latest unfortunate event gripping people all over the world is that of the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

We at The Daily Eastern News are disheartened from the destruction caused by the fire, which according to the New York Times, began in the wooden framework of the cathedral’s roof Monday evening local time.

The flames raged for more than 12 hours, according to the Associated Press. The fire took down the church’s iconic steeple and left three holes in the roof as well as charred the walls on the inside.

Fortunately, the structure of the cathedral remained intact.

At Eastern Illinois University many time zones away, this fire may to some appear to be just another incident that doesn’t really affect us.

However, the more than 800-year-old cathedral is important to so much more than France. It holds an invaluable chunk of history that, thankfully, did not sustain more damage than it did.

According to CNN, most of the relics in the cathedral were saved. This includes the revered Crown of Thorns, believed by many to have been worn by Jesus Christ before his death, and the tunic of St. Louis, believed to have belonged to King Louis IX.

The cathedral’s twin bell towers, which also survived the fire, played a role in French history, including when the main bell, Emanuelle, marked the end of World War II, according to CNN.

The Great Organ, dating back to medieval days, was also saved. A great number of artworks survived the fire as well.

While officials are still investigating the cause of the fire, it appears to be an accident.

Regardless of how it was started, we at The Daily Eastern News are grateful that the situation didn’t turn out worse.

The Notre Dame Cathedral was the most-visited monument in Europe, attracting more than 12 million visitors each year, according to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau. It attracted religious believers, art scholars, historians and a plethora of other tourists.

Through this unfortunate incident, we hope that the resulting passion among the people of France continues to unite them, and that the cathedral will soon stand as tall as ever.