People attend a vigil outside the French consulate in Montreal,...

People attend a vigil outside the French consulate in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered "all of Canada's support" to France on Friday night in the wake of "deeply worrying" terrorist attacks in Paris that killed at least 120 people. Credit: AP/ Graham Hughes

Once again, terrorism has become the face of our times.
 
And once again, we are riveted before television screens, watching the carnage unfold as we sit in what we hope and pray is the safety of our own homes and offices.
 
The attacks in Paris are stunning for their size and scope and synchronized nature. Dozens are dead, and we dread to learn the final toll. And the violence comes only 10 months after the massacre at the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and in close proximity with suicide bombings in Beirut and Baghdad that killed dozens more.
 
It’s unbearably heartbreaking to listen to reports that hostages inside a concert hall where an American hard rock band had been playing are using social media to beg police to storm the hall to stop the executions that apparently are taking place.
 
It’s chilling to think this happened on a Friday night, to people doing things that all of us do on Friday nights — eating in restaurants, going to concerts, cheering at athletic contests. Things that are supposed to be safe. Things that are supposed to be diversions. Things that once attacked make everyone uneasy.
 
And it’s shocking to hear that France — France, our oldest ally, the bastion of liberté, egalité and fraternité — has taken the unprecedented step of closing its borders, reeling from events it has not had time to process.
 
For those of us who lived through the attacks on 9/11, the ongoing horror in Paris reminds us that terrorism has reshaped our world. We’re reminded again of what it feels like when security is replaced by fear, when trust gives way to suspicion, when safety is undermined by doubt. And we need to make sure we don’t let this lead to despair and desperation.
 
President Barack Obama was right when he said this is an attack on all of humanity, and that we all must stand against it together.
 
But right now, it’s a scary and helpless feeling. Again.