Before my family and I came to Nice for vacation, I looked to see if any large-capacity, terrorist-bait events were scheduled during our stay. Several matches of the European soccer championships were played there, but that was weeks ago, and last weekend’s final (where France lost to Portugal) was in Paris, so I figured we were in the clear.
But no one’s in the clear. I was at the Bastille Day fireworks at Nice’s waterfront promenade, with the usual ooh-ing and aah-ing:
Even though the music was supposed to continue until midnight, I was tired and went home right afterwards. (Wife and kids passed on the whole thing.) Our apartment overlooks a touristy pedestrian mall, lined with cafes and stores, and as soon as I arrived home, we heard screaming outside. People were running, panicked, knocking over tables and displays – I’d never seen anything like it in person. My boys were gawking from the balcony and I had to tell them to step back and get away from the windows.
After a little while, I headed down to see how close I could get, and there were still police cars and ambulances rushing to the scene:
Later, I saw a convoy of minivans from the Nice coroner’s office arrive.
The local paper reports that the terrorist was “of Tunisian origin,” which surprises no one, of course. But since he was killed by police, President Obama may never know his real motive.