Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
After becoming engulfed in flames on April 15, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France gained an enormous amount of media attention.
The fire covered the city’s skies in masses of billowing, black smoke clouds, and destroyed the 850-year-old historic structure with unsalvageable damage to the church’s roof and spire, according to BBC News.
Many of the iconic beloved art pieces and religious artifacts were untouched by the fire’s damage. However, there is still a lot to be done in regards to the cathedral’s reparations.
In a public statement following the fire, President of France Emmanuel Macron said, “Notre Dame is our history, it's our literature, it's our imagery. It's the place where we live our greatest moments, from wars to pandemics to liberations...I'm telling you all tonight--we will rebuild this cathedral together.”
Macron also called out to other nations, asking for unity and financial aid in order to help rebuild such a monumental building.
Since then, different nations have come together and donated or vowed to donate to France following the destruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Globally, more than $700 million was donated the Tuesday after the fire took place, according to the New York Times.
The United States has also vowed to step in and help rebuild the cathedral - President Donald Trump is looking to donate $1 billion to the cause.
People took to social media, expressing their disapproval of such a large donation.
Though lending a helping hand to France in their time of need seems to be a noble act, many Americans feel as though this large sum of money could be used for more important, domestic matters within the United States’ borders.
Many people were quick to point out it being five years since Flint, Michigan has had clean water. The United States has decided to use the money on this international affair instead of applying those funds to help the population of Flint.
Other internal crises such as finding a control for global warming or repairing the damages of arson attacks on black churches need American funding and support just as much as the Notre Dame Cathedral renovations.
What is important to remember is that all of these crises--both national and international--deserve attention and the proper funding. However, where the American people get upset is that funding should first be given to those who need help inside of the country and then to those outside of the country.
Rightfully, the American people feel betrayed.
While it’s necessary for nations to come together and show solidarity for the loss of a building that was not only a symbol of religion but also a home for the arts, it is also imperative the United States takes the time to address the concerns going on within their nation that need just as much attention.
USA Today stated that a general position among critics of these donations is these large amounts of money going towards the rebuilding of Notre Dame proves “social problems could be quickly addressed if the wealthy were motivated to do so.”
One cannot deny the importance of the Notre Dame Cathedral and how significant it was to those from all around the world. However, Americans are not asking for Notre Dame to remain in ruins nor asking America to cease to contribute donations.
All the American people want is for their voices to be heard and for their hardships to be taken just as seriously.