Thursday night celebrations of Bastille Day in Nice, France, turned into carnage after a large truck plowed into the crowd, killing at least 84 and injuring over 100 people. Authorities have confirmed the massacre as an act of terrorism, claiming the vehicle was “loaded with arms and grenades.”
The truck crashed into the celebrants when they were watching fireworks, and continued the rampage for about 1.3 kilometers before police finally shot the driver dead.
The witnesses told the media there were dead bodies scattered everywhere — including those of small children and the elderly.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded,” said President Barack Obama in a statement of support and unity. “We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack.”
Statement by President Obama following Nice, France attack. pic.twitter.com/iwxeKqiQ7Q— George Colli (@GeorgeColli) July 15, 2016
World leaders also echoed similar sentiments, condemning the massacre in France. The hashtag #PrayForNice soon began trending on social media.
"Every American stands in strong solidarity with the people of France" —Hillary on the attack in Nice pic.twitter.com/BBGgHucSE0— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 15, 2016
Canadians are shocked by tonight's attack in Nice. Our sympathy is with the victims, and our solidarity with the French people.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 14, 2016
My prayers and condolences to the victims and families of the terrible tragedy in Nice, France. We are with you in every way!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2016
This. Must. End. pic.twitter.com/aveqWeOhNY— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) July 15, 2016
Awful attacks in Nice. These attacks are coming too frequently & too many people are lost. We need strong American leadership to save lives.— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) July 15, 2016
Shocked and saddened by the appalling events in Nice, and the terrible loss of life.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 15, 2016
I hope the injured recover soon. India shares the pain & stands firmly with our French sisters & brothers in this hour of immense sadness.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 15, 2016
Score of celebrities from all across the world also took to Twitter to send their love and prayers.
Heartsick over Nice. Horrified.— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) July 14, 2016
Heartbroken to hear the news about Nice, France... Hatred has to stop. Promoting any kind of hatred, anywhere, has to stop. ??????— Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) July 14, 2016
Enough #PrayForNice— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) July 14, 2016
So very sad to hear about the news in Nice. Sending all my love and prayers.. #PrayForNice ??— Lea Michele (@msleamichele) July 15, 2016
So very sad for the beautiful people of Nice. Lets all send massive love and prayers and hug someone a little closer tonight. #PrayForNice— Rachel Platten (@RachelPlatten) July 15, 2016
So sad for the people of Nice, France.— Cyndi Lauper (@cyndilauper) July 14, 2016
While the hashtag is full of grief, sorrow and support for all those affected by the deadly attack, a number of online users also used it to express outrage and put out a call for action.
What is happening to our world? Sitting here in tears over the tragedy that just occurred. #PrayForNice— Kayla Collier (@Kayla_Bo_Bayla) July 14, 2016
Some of their tweets were horrifyingly accurate, highlighting the tragic reality of recent times.
Our lives are becoming hashtags. The number of attacks is increasing & they're becoming less shocking. When will this end? #PrayForNice— Ahmad (@AhmadAltamimii) July 14, 2016
Perhaps what is most frightening is not fear of attacks but frequency. When does it stop? Those poor families, unbearable. #PrayForNice ????????— Kate Cross (@katecross16) July 14, 2016
Some more brutal than the others:
Sadly, I now have procedure for handling tragedy like this. Disconnect, wait 24 hrs for real information. Breaking news is unhealthy for me.— Hank Green (@hankgreen) July 14, 2016
Feel for victims, feel my own emotions, but do not attempt to analyze or fact-find. #PrayForNice— Hank Green (@hankgreen) July 14, 2016
Although no terrorist group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, French authorities have already suggested it might be an act of Islamist radicalism, likening it to the horrific attacks in Paris.
“We need to do everything we can to fight against the threat of terrorism,” said French President Francois Hollande. “It’s all of France that’s under the threat of Islamist radicalism.”
As for the hashtags and prayers from all around the world, it seems to have become a horrifyingly common routine.
Truth be told, this is not the first time we’re seeing #PrayForNice, we have seen it all more than once following the attacks in Istanbul, Turkey, the shooting in Dallas, Texas, for Brussels after the airport attack and in Orlando after a gunman killed 49 people in an LGBTQ nightclub.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters