President Donald Trump offered condolences to French President Emanuel Macron in a phone call on Tuesday in response to the fire that devastated the Notre Dame cathedral.
“The Cathedral has served as a spiritual home for almost a millennium, and we are saddened to witness the damage to this architectural masterpiece,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, that revealed the nature of the president’s call. “Notre Dame will continue to serve as a symbol of France, including its freedom of religion and democracy.”
Sanders recalled when Notre Dame’s bells sounded on September 12, 2001, recognizing the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“Those bells will sound again,” she wrote. “We stand with France today and offer our assistance in the rehabilitation of this irreplaceable symbol of Western civilization. Vive la France!”
Trump expressed shock on Monday after watching as the fire took hold of the historic cathedral on cable news.
“It’s a part of our culture. It’s a part of our lives. That’s a truly great cathedral,” he said after a business roundtable event in Minnesota. “And I’ve been there and I’ve seen it, and there’s no cathedral, I think — I could say there’s probably no cathedral in the world like it.”