I'm not a religious man, but Cathedrals like Notre Dame represent the collective spiritual desires of human beings, their aspirations towards beauty, and it expressed the devotional spirit of 1000 years ago. It's not like the local applebee's burned down: it's a world heritage site. If you've never seen it, you should know that it was astonishing and beautiful, light and soaring. The interior was magical. For more than 800 years it's been a symbol. Construction began in 1163. It was there before the bubonic plague. Before the invention of movable type. Before the protestant reformation. Before Bach and Mozart. Before the American revolution. The French revolution, the Paris commune of 1877. WWI. WWII. It's great that no one seems to have been hurt.