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'We got lucky;' After the flames, Argos students reflect on their trip to the Notre Dame Cathedral

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AGROS, Ind. --- A treasure dating back to the 13th century went up in flames Monday. Videos show the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris engulfed in smoke and even shows the spire crashing down.

Officials say the roof is now mostly gone but the inside is still salvageable along with some historical artwork.

Now, after the tragedy, a group of local high school students who went on a trip abroad and visited the cathedral are feeling lucky that they got to experience it before the fire.

They were a part of a group of 35 students that toured Europe just over a week ago. The cathedral is one stop they are glad they made.

“Just breathtaking and stunning,” Ian Kindig described what it was like inside the Notre Dame cathedral. “That’s really the only words I have for it.”

Madeline Dewulf, who also went on trip to Europe, agreed with Ian.

“You walk in there and it’s just like a once and a lifetime experience I mean you’ll never see it like that again,” Dewulf said.

The news weighed heavy on everyone who took the trip to Europe, chaperones and students alike.

“It’s still kind of a shock,” Nicole Stevens said, who chaperoned the trip to Europe. “Like it’s not really happening. It’s very meaningful and to just see it on the news today like that… it’s heartbreaking.”

Koleman Norris, a student who went on trip to Europe, called it unbelievable.

“I had no works to say I was just shocked,” Norris said. “Just to think we were over there 13 days ago and we are probably one of the last people to ever see it like that.”

They all found out the news in different ways. One from their science teacher, another from a text from their aunt, but one thing among them remains the same.

“We got lucky,” Shane Stevens said, who was also on the trip. “Seeing all the old artwork and stuff that other people may never see, just because of a fire.”

They are all glad they got to experience it together. Trey Devos said he got to experience Europe with his best friend.

“Now that this has happened and me and him did it together it’s like I’m gonna hold it closer because more people can’t do that with their best friends like we did,” Devos said.

This was the first year Argos students took a trip abroad. They are planning more in the future, they are just saddened to know that next year other students just might not be able to experience the cathedral the way they did.

“You don’t think it would ever happen especially after just seeing it,” Kindig said. “You think it’s gonna be there forever and something tragic like this happens and you realize it’s not.”

While the decades-old cathedral may not be the same for a while, the President of France has pledged to repair the historical structure no matter what it takes.

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