Editorial: Notre Dame Burns

Donate to other world problems.

Elizabeth Kaiser graphic

Elizabeth Kaiser graphic

Earlier this month, the world watched Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral burn. It was a very sad moment. Notre Dame, the 850-year old structure, was home to a unique Gothic architecture and an introduction to polyphonic music. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but renovations were being made at the time and could possibly be the cause of it. Most of the artwork was saved because it had been moved before the renovations began. 

The French president Emmanuel Macron said, “We will rebuild Notre Dame even more beautiful, and I want that to be done in the next five years.” 

France has experienced multiple revolutions, wars, etc. where churches, towns and ports have been burned and “each time we have rebuilt them.”

But this is not the point. Why can multi-millionaires, multi-billionaires and other wealthy institutions donate millions of dollars to rebuild one place, but we can seem to help other world problems that have been going on for years, or even decades? What about water quality in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake? Why would University of Notre Dame donate $100,000 to the cathedral, but not try to solve the problem with Flint, Michigan’s water quality? 

The U.S. always seems to be helping other countries. That is who we are as a nation. This is a great platform for international relations. Wouldn’t a city the size of Paris put aside money in a budget for such things that could happen? Why are we not conserving the environment in which we live in? The picture that really struck me in the heart was a Pulitzer Prize winner. It was a picture of a vulture waiting for a young child to die of starvation. 

I personally believe that no building is more important than saving human lives. And the same could be said for saving the environment. Anyway, donating millions shows that it does not take a lot for the upper class to make a difference in this world. Let us start fighting other world problems now.