White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the president are sending their condolences to French President Emmanuel Macron after the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris devastatingly went up in flames on Monday.
“The United States stands with French citizens, the city of Paris, and the millions of visitors from around the world who have sought solace in that iconic structure,” Sanders said in a White House statement.
The historic church’s spire and timbered roof were taken in flames after an unknown cause, according to French prosecutors, and was extinguished roughly 14 hours after it began.
“The Cathedral has served as a spiritual home for almost a millennium, and we are saddened to witness the damage to this architectural masterpiece,” Sanders said. “Notre Dame will continue to serve as a symbol of France, including its freedom of religion and democracy.”
Check out the devastation of the fire:
“France is the oldest ally of the United States, and we remember with grateful hearts the tolling of Notre Dame’s bells on September 12, 2001, in solemn recognition of the tragic September 11th attacks on American soil,” Sanders continued. “Those bells will sound again.”
“It’s one of the great treasures of the world. The greatest artists in the world. […] That is beyond countries, that is beyond anything. That’s a part of our growing up, it’s a part of our culture. It’s a part of our lives.”
First lady Melania Trump also offered her condolences.
“My heart breaks for the people of Paris after seeing the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. Praying for everyone’s safety,” she tweeted on Monday,
Check out the aftermath of the fire:
The president of France vowed to rebuild the historic church, which draws millions of visitors a year.
“Notre Dame is our history, it’s our literature, it’s our imagery,” Macron said. “It’s the place where we live our greatest moments, from wars to pandemics to liberations … I’m telling you all tonight — we will rebuild this cathedral together. This is probably part of the French destiny.”
Since Macron’s promise to rebuild the cathedral, donors poured in $700 million as of publication, according to Fox News, with two donors promising to donate $226 million each and two others to donate roughly $113 million each, as well as several other large donations.
“We stand with France today and offer our assistance in the rehabilitation of this irreplaceable symbol of Western civilization,” the White House press secretary concluded. “Vive la France!”