SOMETIMES A GUY IS PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.
On August 21, 2015, Elizabeth and I were in the Gare Du Nord Train station in Central Paris. We were waiting to board a train that would take us to London via the 31 miles ‘Chunnel’ under the English Channel. We were having coffee on a balcony above the train tracks when I noticed a commotion below us. Many police, uniformed train employees, and armed soldiers swarmed the track where Amsterdam to Paris Express was due to arrive shortly.
I didn’t see what was going on, but I did take some photos with my iPhone in the general direction of the activity. Several minutes later the loudspeaker announced that our train was boarding, but on an alternate track located on the other side of the terminal. We joined the other passengers and gathered up our things and headed for the train. None of us were aware of what was going on.
When my daughter-in-law meet us at the London train station, she excitedly told us something about an Islamic gunman shooting up the Amsterdam/Paris train and asked if we saw anything. We said that we saw something, but had no idea of what was going on. That evening it was all over the TV news. An ISIS sympathizer opened fire on passengers as the train sped through Belgium. Two American servicemen and a French friend, who were traveling together, witnessed the shooter firing indiscriminatingly into the car. The Frenchman hollered, “Get him!” and the three of them leaped out of their seats simultaneously, attacked the gunman, and took him down before he could slaughter dozens of passengers.
When these three young men, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skariatos, arrived in Paris, they were treated as heroes and rightly so. They received all kinds of awards from the French, Belgium and American governments for their heroism. It was one of those special moments made us proud to be Americans.