People across the nation are still in shock after a portion of the historic Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames on Monday, but one Lawton couple got the unfortunate view in person.
To celebrate her birthday as well as her early anniversary, Lori Medicinebird and her husband Stephen took a well-anticipated trip from their home in Lawton to France.
“I was just expecting to give her the trip of a lifetime, everything that you could do in Paris as a trip we got to do,” Stephen Medicinebird said.
Everything like climbing the 411 stairs of the centuries-old Notre Dame Cathedral.
“It was a great thing to see mass. It was very emotional to watch it take place,” Lori Medicinebird said.
But just three days later while they spent their last day doing a river cruise on the Seine River, the unimaginable happened.
“As we get probably half a mile into it we started seeing little puffs of smoke,” Lori Medicinebird said. “It went from just puffs to billows of smoke.”
A few moments later they saw that the smoke was coming from the historic building.
“We were in shock and total disbelief with what we had seen,” Lori Medicinebird said.
“As the smoke and you could actually see the flames, you could see all the bridges start to fill up, people crying on our boat next to us,” Stephen Medicinebird said.
Both Lori and Stephen Medicinebird said it was both a humbling and saddening experience, and knowing that many people may never see it in its original state is heartbreaking.
The fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral damaged its roof and spire.
Nearly $1 billion have been donated so far for restoration.