NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - What has now become a city stricken with pain and devastation, didn't start that way, at least for Charlie and Wendy Colgan.
"I think of love. I think it's a great city with great people, people with a big heart," said Charlie Colgan.
Big hearts that are now hurting following reports of attacks at 6 different locations carried out by five different attackers. It was news undoubtedly heard around the world.
"My heart broke. I said you're not going to believe this and we turned the news up even louder so we could hear," Colgan said.
But for these two, it's easier to recall a time in that city far different from today's reality.
It was 1997, Charlie a student at Virginia's George Mason University and Wendy at Ohio's Denison University, both strangers a part of a Christian summer project which brought them together in Paris.
"We spent 8 weeks there but it wasn't until the final week that Charlie and I started hanging out. Remarkably it was through taking photographs together. We traveled around the city, photographing the city, just having fun and creating a package of memories," said Wendy Colgan.
The city of love had once again worked its magic; a year later the two were engaged.
"We didn't know what the Lord had in store for us that summer but 17 years later and 5 children later, we know what he had in store," Colgan said.
And of those five, there's the couple's 10 year old daughter, Paris, who hopes to follow in her parent's footsteps.
"Do you hope to fall in love too? Yes!' Paris said.
And now together they mourn the tragedy in the city that gave them so much.
"Our immediate reaction was just to fall down on our knees and pray for the people, the victims, their families, pray for the uncertainty that was taking place, pray for healing and peace," Colgan said.
Peace in a city The Colgan's say is resilient enough to pull through.
The Colgan family will host a 'Paris Prayer Vigil' this Wednesday at the First Christian Church in Nacogdoches. The vigil will begin at 5PM and all are invited.