The events in Paris this weekend were an attack on us all. As of today 129 innocent people from 19 nationalities lost their lives for no reason apart from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. My thoughts go out to the friends and family of those murdered on what should have been a normal November evening in Paris.
There are no easy solutions to tackling this crime. And it is not easy to understand the madness behind these brutal indiscriminate attacks. Yesterday, a whole continent observed a minutes silence for the victims. We did so in respect for those whose lives were taken and in defiance of those who carried out these assaults on our freedom.
The attacks on Paris were sadly not the only attacks seen over the past week. Beirut faced a double suicide attack on Thursday extinguishing 43 lives. Again, people were going about their daily lives and were murdered for no reason. Both cases demonstrate the monstrosity of those who undertake such random violence.
As more information comes to light we are not only learning of the awfulness that occurred that night, but we hear of truly remarkable feats of humanity. After the French government sent out an urgent call for people to donate blood so many people did so that the service was overwhelmed. The attack on the Stade de France hoped to deliver a blow to the heart of France. What it brought instead was a French football team who refused to leave their German neighbours; spending the night in the stadium until it was safe.
What is needed is action, but not action for actions sake. Kneejerk reactions are what are wanted by these murderers. A period of reflection on how to bridge divides within our societies and how best to protect our core value of liberty is needed. I believe the first action we should take is to ensure those fleeing the destructive force of Daesh/ISIL are welcomed with open arms. So many people in Flintshire have written to me offering support for those vulnerable families. Demonstrating why openness and compassion will always trump aggression.
Now, more than ever we need to work together to ensure this threat ends. Solidarity in Europe is what these purveyors of fear most hate. No matter what your race or creed we are all Europeans now.