The devastation and heartbreak of the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire on April 15 could be felt through the reaction of the surrounding crowd in Paris. As the historic landmark burned, witnesses looked on in helpless disbelief as the cathedral's spire and roof collapsed — although its main structure has been preserved.
Yet, in the midst of such a tragic loss, the strangers surrounding Notre-Dame joined each other in prayer and song, adding beauty to the otherwise painful damage. Twitter users gathered clips of the crowd singing "Ave Maria" together in French as they watched the structure flame. The videos quickly went viral, with viewers commenting that the song is both "so beautiful and sad at the same time" and that they can "feel their pain but hear their love."
According to the Paris police, the fire is now contained. The original cause still remains unknown. French President Emmanuel Macron thanked firefighters for their tireless efforts, and said, "Thanks to their bravery, the worst has been avoided."