The terror attacks in Nice on Bastille Day shocked the world and three days of national mourning were observed out of respect for the 84 people who tragically lost their lives.
Matthew Scott, a Hastings man who moved to Nice at the end of last year, has written about the effect the brutal attack had on the area. He said:
“I moved to Nice on Thursday, November 12, 2015, the eve of the devastating attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead and stunned the world.
“Naturally, it felt as though the capital of the Riviera went into mourning, much like the rest of the country.
“In my eyes, however, it did not deter the general Niçoise population from embracing the characteristics that defined such a great city: there existed a general cohesiveness within an ethnically diverse community; a melodic heartbeat of charming music and fascinating culture; and a sense of openness that made me feel immediately welcome.Nevertheless, things feel different in the wake of the recent attack.
“After the horrific incident that transpired on July 14, 2016, there is an air of solemnity throughout the Côte d’Azur, which was initiated by three days of national mourning.
“Colleagues and friends who reside outside of the city are avoiding the destination for fear of their safety; the national state of emergency has been extended by three months, protracting emotional turmoil; and grief seems to be morphing into a feeling of anger for many residents of Nice, with some demanding an explanation from people that simply cannot offer it, and others simply looking for someone to blame.
“The crowd of mourners at the city’s memorial service booed Manuel Valls, the Prime Minister of France, while rumours of verbal attacks on foreign residents sadly fuel a growing fire of racial tension.
“The day after the attack, I was due to fly back to the UK. Just a few hours before my flight, I was shocked to learn that the airport had been evacuated due to a suspected bomb. Thankfully all was fine, but this certainly exacerbated my concerns over safety.
“Despite the worrying air of threat that hangs over Nice, I am confident that the picturesque city will soon recover from this traumatic event and stand as the iconic destination of the French Riviera once more.”
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
3) Follow us on Twitter @HastingsObs
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Hastings Observer - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.