The world watched in shocked disbelief this week as the Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed in flames. In real time, gathers united in hymn, prayer and solidarity—across faiths and across the globe—shaken by the devastation. Though far removed, at Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates, our hearts go out to the people of France and to all those for whom this renown treasure stood as a symbol of faith and inspiration.
For nearly a century, Notre Dame de Paris has lived not only as a place of worship, but also as a monument to that which unites us all under one banner: kindness, humanity, hope and goodwill. The cathedral’s gothic architecture and solemn beauty, muse to many of the world’s most celebrated authors, poets and artists, seemed somehow to transcend the boundaries of denomination to encourage the common good that ties us together as people. It is little wonder that so many were affected as those iconic spires fell.
Yet, from amid the ashes has emerged unity—from tragedy, determination. As though a testament to the very principles Notre Dame embodied, the wood and stone of the cathedral are survived by an outpouring of generosity.
Even while the embers still glowed, President Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild. Nearly immediately, support began to flood in, with over $1 billion pledged already. From priest Jean-Marc Fournier, who rushed into the fire to save sacred relics, to the countless everyday individuals who have donated to help, this catastrophe has revealed the best of humanity in the face adversity.
Halfway around the world, we are moved by the outpouring of compassion here at home. From church vigils to local fundraisers, our small town has mobilized in camaraderie. The most philanthropic county in the nation, Jackson Hole has shown that here, community is truly global.
We are reminded of the words penned by Victor Hugo: “Our mind is enriched by what we receive; our heart by what we give.”
In this time of mourning, our thoughts are with the people of Paris. We stand in solidarity, half a world removed, united in kinship.