There was a memorable instance of multiculturalism last week that The Scrapbook heartily commends to readers. Google for the touching video of the ceremony at the Elysée Palace in which the president of France, François Hollande, pins the Legion of Honor ribbons on Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek Skarlatos—the three young Americans who risked their lives to disarm and subdue a terrorist gunman on the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris—while giving each of them a very formal French bisou on both cheeks.
From their heroic actions, Glenn Reynolds drew the appropriate moral in a column for USA Today, “See Something? DO Something!”:
Bureaucracies have their place, but they don’t deal well with diffuse threats such as terrorism. By the time “first responders” get there, it’s usually too late. But there’s one group of “responders” who don’t have to go anywhere, and that’s the group already on the scene. In conventional analysis, and in the terrorists’ hopes, those people are called “victims.” But as the three Americans on that French train demonstrated, victimhood isn’t the only response.
And there’s more. The purpose of terror is to terrorize. But responding appropriately has the opposite effect. The response of British businessman Chris Norman, who helped subdue the attacker, illustrates this: “Norman said his first reaction was to hide,” The Fiscal Times reported. “But after he saw the Americans fighting the attacker, he said he went to help them.”
Concluded Reynolds: “Fear is contagious. But so is courage.”