PARIS — French President François Hollande plans to meet three Americans who foiled a suspected terrorist attack on a packed high-speed train running from Amsterdam to Paris.
Friday’s dramatic incident — in which a heavily armed man emerged from a train bathroom with an automatic rifle and started shooting — was being investigated by French counterterrorism authorities. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel described the incident as a terrorist attack.
The three men were friends from middle school and two of them were members of the armed services, according to their family members.
One of the Americans, Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, was stabbed and remained in the hospital Saturday, said the parents of his two friends. The Pentagon said his wounds were not life-threatening.
Stone, who is stationed at Lajes Air Base in the Azores, was traveling with Spc. Alek Skarlatos, an Oregon National Guardsman, and a civilian friend, according to the Pentagon. Anthony Sadler, a student at Sacramento State University, is their civilian companion, according to their families.
So, not Marines, but still in keeping with the highest traditions of the service.
These young men have spent most of their lives in a post- 9/11 world. One wonders if they recall “Let’s roll!” or if they simply personify the traditional American bias toward action in the face of adversity.