Fear strikes home, and the problem must end

When shots were fired and bombs exploded in Paris last Friday, the world shook.

Yes, loss of life was a primary goal of the terrorists behind the attacks, but make no mistake about it — having the entire world shake together as we watched the carnage unfold was another goal of the fear-mongers orchestrating the bloody events. It was half a world away to many of us, but the fear gripped us all.

And it gripped us at the paper even more tightly.

One of our own, reporter Maria Counts, was in Paris when the attacks took place. She was out on the streets of Paris on a Friday night, enjoying a dream vacation with members of her family when the dream turned into a nightmare scenario. Fortunately, Maria and her family got back to their hotel safely, and was able to alert those who know her that she was indeed safe, via social media and text messages. But it caused us all to take a deep breath and hug our loved ones a little more tightly.

Fear got too close to home.

We all mourn those who fell in Paris, Beirut and across the Middle East last week due to the revolting acts of terror being carried out in the name of religious intolerance. Ours is a world intent on repeating its past atrocities, and there appears to be no break in the vicious cycle of hate and violence.

It is more important now than ever that the civilized world bands together in a common cause of defeating these terrorists by sharing information, working together and disbanding this revolting scourge of violence. It is a planetary problem, and the onus can not just fall on the United States. Or France. Or Russia. Or Turkey.

We must all work together to end this threat.