As the smoke settles at Notre Dame Cathedral Mid-Michigan reflects on the history of the religious landmark.
News 10's Cryss Walker has personal stories from some who say Paris will never be the same.
Sarah Gretter says her homeland is suffering a great loss after watching flames rip through a piece of her country's history.
A monument that attracted people from around the world.
“I was quite shocked,” Gretter said.
“It was nothing that we expected so we knew there was restoration happening at the cathedral but nothing you can expect that was happening in such a violent way.”
For Gretter Notre dame is more than a cathedral and cultural landmark.
It’s a symbol of pride.
“I brought my husband who's American and my step-son who has never been out of the country a few years ago and we visited Paris,” Gretter explained.
“Notre Dame was definitely one of the most beautiful sights and one of the most memorable that we visited all together.”
Tanya Thelen, a consultant at Classic Travel in Okemos told News 10 her trip now means more than ever.
“I remember going to Mass there and actually having tears in my eyes feeling so blessed to be there and experience Mass that not everybody gets to experience in Notre Dame,” Thelen said.
Dr. Anne Violin-Wigent is a teacher of the French language and an admirer of the country's history.
The MSU professor says the world-famous church survived the French Revolution and bombs in World War II, making Monday's damages hard to accept.
“Notre Dame is really a symbol of France and of French culture just like the Eiffel Tower is or just like the Statue of Liberty is for the United States,” Violin-Wigent explained.
“To see something that represents the entire country and an entire culture being destroyed, I think that it's very sad.”
French President Macron says the country hopes to rebuild in the next few years.