As Notre Dame blazes, Dillingham students reflect on trip to the cathedral

Apr 15, 2019

Eighteen Dillingham students travelled to France and England last month. As part of the trip, they visited the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. 

Credit Courtesy of Leslie Theurer

The world watched in horror today as the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris caught fire and burned. The full extent of the damage is not yet known. Among those watching the blaze were Dillingham high school students who had visited the famous cathedral on a school trip less than a month ago.  That visit was part of a 10-day trip to France and England. Several of the 18 Dillingham high school students reflected on their visit to the cathedral. 

Credit Courtesy of Leslie Theurer

Grant Williams, 12th grade: “It was one of the first places we stopped when we got to Paris. It was really cool to go inside of the church. There was definitely a lot of tourism, but there was also church being held while we went in, so it was really cool. It’s kind of crazy to think of it burning down now. But I'm just trying to remember all the things that I saw while I was in there that I didn't get pictures of.”

Ross: “What were some of the things that stuck out to you most about visiting the cathedral?”

Williams: “The amount of people still using it. There were quite a few people there, praying.”

Laakea Chu, 11th grade: “That was crazy. We were just there!”

Jayden Mayer, 12th grade: “We were just there, and we’re… I think, there’s a few Americans that just went there and be like, wow, we just went to that and we came back to America, and be like it caught on fire a month later, almost. So that’s pretty shocking.”

Chu: “I guess at least we got to see it before that.”

Ross: “What were some of your impressions of that cathedral?”

Mayer: “Notre Dame – the glass. Cause we don’t really have staining glass here, so I thought that was pretty cool.”

Chu: “And it’s pretty amazing to see, like, how much attention they paid to all the intricate little details. Especially for – maybe it’s not that old, but it feels that old. And just to see how much time, and effort, and how beautiful it actually was for how old it was.”

Mayer: “So we had to keep quiet and walk through. We couldn’t use flash so we just took pictures and it was pretty cool to hear what they have to say. Of course, it was in a different language, but I thought it was pretty cool to hear it.”

Credit Courtesy of Leslie Theurer

Madison Williams, 12th grade: “I went with the English class to London and Paris.”

Ross: “So tell me about your experience in Notre Dame.”

Williams: “I specifically didn’t go because I have really bad knee problems, so I didn't want to walk around. So I was in the garden next to it. It was really beautiful, but I got to see the building from the outside, which was amazing. But even though I didn’t go in, I’m still shocked because I grew up with the movie “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” So I’m still in shock and I’m still processing it. The friends that we made from different states are just as in shock as we are.”

Evelyn Corbett, 11th grade: “It was really big. And they all spoke in French and Latin. Obviously! But I mean, it was really cool to listen to them talk. Most of the congregation that we saw, cause we came in right as they were starting service time, were like maybe over 60 [years old]. The thing about things like the Notre Dame is that it doesn’t matter what your nationality is or what your religion is. It’s still a huge piece of history. And it’s been preserved for so long and it’s just so amazing to see that kind of thing in real life.”

Credit Courtesy of Leslie Theurer