Add the South of France to the tragic list of terror attacks.
Again, we're left with heavy hearts to mourn the innocent dead and to express condolences to their family members, whose lives will never be the same.
On the evening of Bastille Day, an attacker drove a truck into the crowd celebrating on the waterfront in Nice, killing at least 75 and injuring many more.
Reports are still coming in as we write this, but there seems little doubt that the driver, who had firearms and grenades in his truck, was executing a planned terror attack. He opened fire on the crowd and drove nearly a mile through it, running over people as he went. Gunfire from police officers stopped him at last, riddling the truck's windshield with bullet holes, and left the attacker dead. So far as we know now, he had no accomplice.
It's too early to say whether the perpetrator was a lone wolf or a jihadist operating under direct instructions from the Islamic State, but anti-terrorism prosecutors have taken over the investigation. The arms in his truck indicate a likelihood that he was part of some sort of terror network, local or otherwise. The French Riviera, unfortunately, has been affected by radicalization over recent years.
The attack bore similarities to the one in Paris in that it was aimed at people who were celebrating and enjoying life. Another strike against regular people enjoying the freedoms that we in the West enjoy and all too often take for granted.
Whether the attacker acted alone or under direction, ISIS and those inspired by it clearly are stepping up the attacks. That one man can take so many lives so quickly and easily with something as common and ordinary as a truck naturally sows fear.
But those who love freedom cannot give in to fear. We feel sorrow, yes; renewed resolve, yes. But not fear.
REPRINTED FROM THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Photo credit: Yann Caradec