Yesterday, we were all victims of murder. 12 people died in the hands of two monsters that did not agree with the message of Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine. Yesterday, two monsters thought that by murdering 12 innocent lives, they would murder our freedom to express ourselves.

Today I want to touch on a few subjects. First, I want to say that I DO NOT belong to any religious or political group. I see myself as human being and human being only.

However, that doesn’t keep me from having an opinion about religion or politics. I was never a fan of Charlie Hebdo, or better yet, little did I know about Charlie Hebdo. My kind of comic strip is one of the type of Mafalda, by Argentinian cartoonist, Quino. And, yes, I can see why any religion might get offended by the bluntly portrayed illustrations and copy of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, yet one thing I know for sure: I support 100% EVERY person working in that magazine to express themselves freely, humoristically, and fearless.

I also want to mention that there were only two real Muslims and those were Police officer Ahmed Merabet, 42, and Copy Editor Moustapha Ourrad. On the other hand Cartoonist Georges Wolinski, 80, was a Jewish. In other words, this shooting was not fueled by religious believes, but instead, it was fueled by an unstable state of mind of two soulless men.

As a communicator who expresses her RIGHT of free speech daily as an advertiser, my heart can’t help but to fall apart thinking of my own co-workers and fellow classmates. I would never want to experience having my writer and graphic designer friends be censured for their words or their bold illustrations. Neither do I ever have to experience saying “J’ai perdu tous mes amis.” (I lost all my friends) – Philippe Val

The only things that keeps me from completely melting down to such a horrendous event is seeing how people have come together in union to protect some so sacred as life and freedom are. Social media trends such as #JeSuisCharlie and #RaiseYourPencilsForFreedom restore faith, and I use this term casually, in humanity/civilization. As I mentioned before, I understand how some people can be completely against Charlie Hebdo, and again, they’re entitled to their opinions AND expressions – trending hashtags of #JeNeSuisPasCharlie, but my goal with this piece of writing is to invite everyone to think for a second about 12 lives that were taken abruptly and others remain wounded and some in critical conditions. How would you feel if your best friend were massacred at work, or your younger brother, or father, or mother, or sister? It’s not fair, isn’t it? Neither was for these 12 people, whether you agree with what they had to say or not.

Today, I raise my pen for freedom.

In loving memory of:

Frédéric Boisseau, 42, building maintenance worker for Soxedo, killed in the lobby.

Franck Brinsolaro, 49, police (SDLP) officer, assigned as a bodyguard for Charb.

Cabu (Jean Cabut), 76, cartoonist.

Elsa Cayat, 54, psychoanalyst and columnist.

Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier), 47, cartoonist, columnist, and editor-in-chief ofCharlie Hebdo.

Philippe Honore, 74, cartoonist.

Bernard Maris, 68, economist, editor, and columnist.

Ahmed Merabet, 42, police officer of descent, shot in the head as he lay wounded on the ground outside. Merabet was Muslim.

Moustapha Ourrad, copy-editor of Algerian descent. Le Monde reports that he moved to France aged 20 and was about to receive French citizenship.

Michel Renaud, 69, festival organizer, a guest at the meeting.

Tignous (Bernard Verlhac), 57, cartoonist.

George Wolinski, 80, cartoonist. Wolinski was Jewish, and was born in Tunisia.



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