Iconic is a label that is often used lightly without considering the context of what or whom is considered to be iconic. The Notre Dame Cathedral is a building that is automatically labelled iconic, for good reason.
Construction on the cathedral initially began in 1163. It ended after nearly 200 years of work in 1345. An untold number of generations of parishioners and visitors have marveled at the beauty of the architecture of this building. It is one of the finest creations that mankind has ever built. Yesterday, it was nearly destroyed by fire. Thankfully, the fire was extinguished before the cathedral could be completely destroyed along with the priceless historical and religious objects that it houses.
I’ve never been there, but I can imagine how awe inspiring this marvel of human ingenuity is.
I feel for the people of Paris and the worshipers who consider Notre Dame to be their church. Regardless of faith, this church belongs not only to the people of Paris, but to the whole country. It is theirs to love, cherish and worship under, if that is their prerogative. Ask any religious person and they will likely tell you that their specific house of worship is akin to their second home. I feel the same way about the synagogue that my family attends. I don’t attend very often, but when I do, it’s like snuggling under a warm blanket with a hot drink on a cold winter night.
It will take time to rebuild, there is no question. But this ancient and beloved house of worship will return to her former glory, that I know is certain.