Central Indiana family returns home after vacationing in Paris during terrorist attacks

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COLUMBUS, Ind (Nov. 16, 2015) -- A central Indiana family is thankful to be back home from Paris after their trip turned terrifying.  The Columbus family says they were about one-mile from one of the terrorist attacks.

The Clancy family was visiting their daughter, Caitlin, a student at IUPUI, who has been volunteering at a pre-school in France for several months.

Before their trip came to an end, the family made one last visit to the Eiffel tower. They snapped a nighttime picture in front of the illuminated landmark, but the lights would soon go dark on the iconic tower and the entire country.

“That’s when I got kind of emotional about the whole thing just because the symbolism of them shutting the lights off.  The whole city and now the whole world was in mourning about the situation,” said Caitlin.

One of the coordinated attacks came from a suicide bomber outside of a soccer match.  The players can be seen reacting to the sound of the explosion.

The Clancys watched the game on TV from their hotel and soon realized the terror they were caught in.

“There was the bomb that went off near the stadium, so it started to get more severe pretty quickly,” said Mike Clancy.

Friday, the streets of Paris filled with carnage of innocent people who were savagely gunned down.

More than 120 people have died in what authorities are calling six coordinated attacks.

As the chaos unfolded outside, the Clancys were safe inside and found comfort in family.  In fact, the scale of the attacks didn’t sink in until concerned family and friends started texting

“I felt safety with the three of us we were together. Our faith is strong," said Lana Clancy.

Upon the the family's arrival back in Columbus, neighbors attached a paper sign on their front door that reads "welcome home." Red, white and blue ribbons hang from the poster.  The French national colors now a symbol of just how lucky they are.

“It gives you appreciation for our own freedom and our own protection,” said Mike

“We are lucky. The world is not as safe as most of us would like it to be,” said Caitlin.