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Paris attacks more than act of war

The Paris attacks were more than an act of war.

They were a tragedy, claiming the lives of 129 bystanders and forever changing those of victims’ families, friends and loved ones.

It is difficult to hear about the attacks without remembering 9/11 and the 2,977 victims who were claimed during the act of terror on American soil. The chilling memories remind us that what happened in Paris very well could have happened in the United States, Mississippi or right here in Oxford.

Parisian leaders should be commended for making tough decisions quickly and working to ensure their people’s safety by keeping them out of the assassins’ way.

President François Hollande, who learned of the attacks while watching his country’s national soccer team, made the decision to secure the stadium, letting the game continue and keeping the crowd inside and out of the militants’ way.

Hollande also decided Sunday to stand up for his country and the victims who lost their lives by sending the French air force to bomb the ISIS capital of Raqqa, Syria.

The French SWAT team and hospital should be commended for the way they responded to the tragedy.

Fortunately, the hospital was trained in how to deal with emergencies after the Charlie Hebdo incident and was ready to use more than 60 operating tables as victims started coming in.

Because of the hospital’s preparation, lives that would have otherwise been lost were saved.

And finally, kudos to French police who have carried out more than 150 raids, arrested 23 people and seized dozens of weapons since the attacks Friday. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve also said more than 100 suspects remain for questioning.

Our country should come together as we pray for Paris and the families of victims massacred in the attacks. Americans should remember what happened in Paris could very well happen here.

We must stand up for Paris and for the thousands of lives claimed by the Islamic State.

Their attacks have claimed the lives of too many, and it is time that our country takes a firmer approach to ending the war on terror.