Firefighters in Paris fought valiantly to stop the fire that consumed Notre Dame Cathedral 15 hours after it began on Monday.
French president Emmanuel Macron announced he would start an international fundraising campaign to restore the centuries-old cathedral after much of its roof and the iconic spire above it collapsed from the accidental blaze.
It will take years for the cathedral to return to its former glory. Until then, the heart of Paris will never look exactly the same again.
As a tribute, many took to social media and posted photos of themselves standing in front of the medieval Catholic cathedral prior to its devastation.
One photo in particular is going viral because of its sentimental subjects in the foreground of the majestic bell towers.
Twitter user Brooke Windsor captured a sweet moment shared between a father and presumably his daughter, playing around on the Île de la Cité.
"I took this photo as we were leaving #NotreDame about an hour before it caught on fire," wrote Windsor.
"I almost went up to the dad and asked if he wanted it. Now I wish I had. Twitter if you have any magic, help him find this."
You can click on the Twitter post below to see the full photo of the father playfully swinging the kid around.
I took this photo as we were leaving #NotreDame about an hour before it caught on fire. I almost went up to the dad… https://t.co/D84QmLpjd0— Brooke Windsor (@Brooke Windsor)1555372811.0
People in need of a positive moment after being heartbroken instantly connected to Windsor's post. It was retweeted around 170k times as of this writing.
The tweet was translated and posted in French, and now we're all wanting to find the lovable pair featured in the photo.
RT SVP : A la recherche du père et de la fille sur cette photo, prise environ une heure avant l'incendie de Notre-D… https://t.co/uCs6LbzB9R— Adriana (@Adriana)1555375774.0
Due to all the queries about the identity of her subjects, Windsor clarified that she did not know what the relationship was between the man and the child.
She tweeted a followup that read, in part:
"it's simply the dynamic I observed from them while debating on interrupting this moment. It may be an uncle, brother, friend, who knows until we find them."
Moments after leaving the cathedral, Windsor walked to the Louvre and noticed the smoke billowing from the direction she had come.
-We walked to the Louvre afterwards. My friends noticed the smoke, and we followed (2/?) https://t.co/l76nF0jAIv— Brooke Windsor (@Brooke Windsor)1555400199.0
Someone claimed they spotted the man and his family on Champs-Élysées, who were most likely unaware that their previous location was suddenly evacuated.
@brookeawindsor I 100% just saw this man and his family in the Disney shop on the champs-elysees— Louis Scriven (@Louis Scriven)1555408920.0
The search was on for cool dad/uncle and cute kid.
@InYourEye99 @brookeawindsor Someone go scouting down the Champs-Élysées right now!— Tom W🇦🇺🔴🔴🔴 (@Tom W🇦🇺🔴🔴🔴)1555416090.0
One user shared their sight-seeing route that day and wished Windsor good luck on finding "the dad."
Some commented on her timing of being at a safe distance.
@brookeawindsor That is so devastating. You were legit there in the buildings last moments— Danae McMiles (@Danae McMiles)1555405949.0
@BVITrudi @brookeawindsor Same here. Knowing that I’ll never be able to see it in its original form is just heartbr… https://t.co/hOm9FA4YuG— TCWRebelsResistanceWords (@TCWRebelsResistanceWords)1555423535.0
@brookeawindsor Must’ve been awful to know you saw it in its “original form” before it was completely changed forev… https://t.co/7wcFTSfbFP— TCWRebelsResistanceWords (@TCWRebelsResistanceWords)1555376435.0
The thing is, "Our Lady of Paris" has been here before, and she will endure for many years to come.
@CloneWarsWords @brookeawindsor Naaah. Its original form was desecrated in the Revolution, revised with the spire i… https://t.co/BOnpM7q7Px— Aubri Gryphon (@Aubri Gryphon)1555388166.0
@CloneWarsWords @BVITrudi @brookeawindsor It’s constantly changing. There’s been damage over the centuries - especi… https://t.co/wb1sWBxm9K— Jen D. (@Jen D.)1555432490.0
We're all waiting for any updates. And it's not creepy. We just need some uplifting news right now.
@brookeawindsor I hope twitter does have some magic, that is a great picture.— James Widmer (@James Widmer)1555375846.0
@brookeawindsor @yashar This is going to become THAT photo.— Michelle Bhasin (@Michelle Bhasin)1555375363.0
@LouisaDavies19 @brookeawindsor @rachelparris I think she was taking a picture of the cathedral and just happened t… https://t.co/nzPPHBNLDc— Suzy (@Suzy)1555407605.0
While most of Twitter felt sentimental over the photo, cynics argued that the hunt for the dad and child in the photo was some sort of a violation.
But, this user spoke as someone who is also a father and justified for the viral reactions.
@puzz_wilky @LouisaDavies19 @brookeawindsor @rachelparris As a father I would have loved someone to capture a momen… https://t.co/uGffzq3PGk— Ethan McConnell (@Ethan McConnell)1555414903.0
@brookeawindsor He will be found and grateful for this candid moment . 🙏🏼— MommaT (@MommaT)1555382938.0
@brookeawindsor @yashar I want to see this as a feel good news story within the next 24 hrs that this picture makes… https://t.co/HX7wbvygeW— keo (@keo)1555383536.0
@brookeawindsor @cenchreae2 As a father FIND THIS DAD!— Angel of Pallor (@Angel of Pallor)1555377035.0
While there haven't been any inroads made on the search, Twitter magic to find the family is still underway.
@brookeawindsor @PrincessBravato Maybe he will see this and find you. Using some majik https://t.co/COsJWV7QI7— Major Rocher (@Major Rocher)1555377415.0
@brookeawindsor Please Twitter World. Retweet this photo, with the hope that someone will recognize the man and li… https://t.co/fNtQmzxZSl— Gwen Graham (@Gwen Graham)1555375433.0
If you were casually a part of someone else's picture moments before a historical incident, wouldn't you want to be found?