Melinda Dome/Collegian
Melinda Dome/Collegian

By Amaelle Caron

For the first two weeks of Christmas break, I had the chance to go home and spend the holiday with my family in France.

I left the U.S. on Dec. 13, exactly a month after the Paris shooting back in November.

I thought it was important for me to share how the situation was, one month after the tragedy.

First of all, the security has been multiplied considerably.

Military, policeman and people walking with security guards are now seen everywhere.

When I arrived at the airport in Paris, security was stopping every traveler to check their identity, their fingerprints, and to ask questions about where they were from and what were they going to do during their stay in the country.

Those questions are basic questions you hear at the American border when you enter the U.S. however, I had never been asked those kind of questions when I arrived in France.

There were four security guards on the Air France jet that took me from Atlanta to Paris. They were dressed all in black, carrying guns, handcuffs and pepper spray.

The situation looked tense, even if nothing was happening.

For the first hour you could see people looking over their seats to see who else was traveling with them.

I have had the chance to travel a lot and it was the first time I had seen anything like this.

Having security on board make things kind of comforting but at the same time it shows how serious of a problem we are having in my country.

We can feel the tension in crowded areas in the capital — people looking everywhere, wondering, and probably a little scared.

On my way back to the U.S, I sat next to two wonderful ladies who had traveled in two European countries for a couple weeks, and they were telling me about their trip.

At some point, they told me they spent a few days in Paris.

I asked them what they thought of the city.

The lady sitting right by me was older and she told me that there is nothing like Paris.

She said that she was amazed at how strong the city and this country was after such a tragedy. Her words touched my heart.

This same lady told me that she also could feel how our two countries could understand each other, but it is sad that our bond was formed around tragedies.

I think it is amazing to see how the world is all connected.

Even if France is and will always be my home country, I found myself a home in the U.S. as well, and seeing how these two countries are connected and how they support each other, draws a smile on my face.

Paris is still beautiful, strong and magical.

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