Millersville University professor describes experiencing terror attacks in France while on vacation

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Millersville University Professor Christine Gaudry goes to France every year to celebrate Christmas with her mother and sister. This year was no different. They had started the day at the Pablo Picasso museum. “When we came out we heard lots of sirens. We couldn’t figure out what it was, it was actually a text from an American friend of mine who asked are you okay? That’s how I found out,” said Gaudry.

The multiple police cars she saw flying down the street in front of her were all heading to the Charlie Hebdo offices. "We followed minute by minute, hour by hour what was happening," said Gaudry. The more time that passed the more horrifying the details. Twelve people shot to death, all because of their connection to a satirical newspaper that had poked fun at Islam. Gaudry said it breaks her heart. However she said as quickly as it can break, the heart can also mend.

Millions of demonstrators have taken to the streets in Paris since the attacks. "More than just the selling of the newspaper, it's the march with all those forty heads of state linking arms," said Gaudry. She said the message of solidarity and fearlessness has been clear and in that sense Gaudry thinks the attack was a failure. For Gaudry, whose father drew satirical cartoons for a newspaper just like Charlie Hebdo, being French is a matter of pride and nothing will stop freedom of speech.