In the midst of too much bad news, I felt compelled to share the story of the two unarmed U.S. Marines who foiled an attack by a heavily armed person earlier today onboard a high-speed train en route to Paris from Amsterdam. Details are still coming out, but photos of the two Marines are appearing on Twitter, and the BBC now has some details. This has not yet been labeled an act of terrorism, but the suspect is a twenty-something year-old man from Morocco, so it certainly seems to be a real possibility.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve referred to the Marines as “…particularly courageous, and showed great bravery in difficult circumstances.” It seems clear from early reporting that the Marines averted a potential disaster by stopping the heavily-armed gunman quickly.
Count on the U.S. Marines to fail to get the message that Europe just wants to lay down and die in the face of violence and terrorism.
This is a great story that reminds me once again that who we are as a country is not defined by our government or our politicians, but by the everyday people who live with purpose and act when needed.
Early reports by most major media outlets of the Americans as Marines have turned out to be in error, although two of the three Americans traveling together were in the armed forces – Air Force and National Guard. This helps to explain a fact I could not understand based on the early reports – the gunman is still alive. The Americans were aided by a British man living in France who was in the same train car.