A woman who grew up in Connecticut but lives in Paris said Friday’s attacks rocked her world, but her sense of security had already been shattered months ago.
Tamara Rosenberg, a Monroe native, spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News.
She has countless snapshots of her life in Paris. She said they don’t do the city justice.
"Places are just places,” she said. “It's really about the people that you connect with in each of those places."
Rosenberg said she grew up in Monroe but moved to Paris four years ago.
"I gained a lot of weight when I got there,” she said. “They have great pastries."
She said life in the city was not always as sweet as the baked goods. However, she enjoyed the passionate people and beautiful sites.
It was a day in January when everything changed for her.
“It was so shocking that it was kind of unreal,” Rosenberg said.
The terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper took place five blocks from her home. Eleven people died that day, but Rosenberg said she always feared that the violence had not ended.
"You felt it was in the fiber of the city and everyone went on with their lives, but they were aware,” she said.
That’s why Rosenberg said she wasn’t shocked when a friend called her while Rosenberg was visiting her mother in New Britain. The friend informed her of what happened in Paris.
“He said ‘have you seen news?’” Rosenberg said. “And I said ‘what news?’ And he said ‘the attacks. The attacks that happened.’"
Rosenberg said she turned on the TV, but the pictures couldn’t do it justice.
"You get that sensation in your chest that your heart is going to break your ribs,” she explained.
No one Rosenberg knew was hurt, but she fears things may get worse before they get better.
"It was planned so well in the sense that it was completely random,” she said. “How do you solve for random?"
She said she still plans to return to her adopted hometown soon.
"It’s just a fun place to be,” Rosenberg said.
She said she may be scared, but she and her fellow Parisians refuse to live in fear.
"We sing, we dance, we enjoy life and you can't take that away from us,” Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg said she’ll return to Paris after the holidays and hopes to become a French citizen by the spring. She said she’ll retain her U.S. citizenship because she truly loves both countries.
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