Marble Hill students home safe after trip puts them in London, Paris during attacks

MARBLE HILL, MO (KFVS) - A group of Marble Hill, Missouri students and adults are home safe after a trip to Europe put them in London and Paris on the days of deadly attacks.

Kacie Patton was one of the leaders of the group of five adults and 10 children.

When asked if she would return to London or Paris, she had a message for anyone who may be weary of travel after these attacks.

"Don't be fearful, go out and see the world," she said. "God created an amazing world for us to go see and that's what my students and the adults saw while on this trip; we saw an amazing world!"

Terrorist attacks near the London Bridge on Saturday and another attack near the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris hit close to home for families in Marble Hill, Missouri.

The students were on their first day of the trip to London during the attack on Saturday, June 3.

They were staying close to where the attack went down and one parent, Joelle Mayfield, said the worst part was not knowing if her daughter was okay.

"They were sleeping. So when you don't get an immediate response you think well maybe they were on the streets you know," Mayfield said. "We didn't know...out doing tourist stuff, but they weren't.  They were tucked in sleeping and we praise God for that."

Kacie Patton said they were sleeping when the incident occurred and they were about 15 miles away from where it happened, which was about 45 minutes away drive time.

"Actually, we didn't even know it happened. We were asleep," Patton said. "Next thing you know I woke up to my phone going off and I had about maybe ten Facebook messages and a couple of text messages about there being an attack in London."

Patton did say they are safe but have ramped up security measures.

"EF [EF Tours] all gave us individual packs that had ear buds so when we were walking, we could hear the tour guide what they were saying the entire time no matter where we were," Patton said.

Patton said the tour guides were always informed to the minute as to what's going on in the city and any problems they could potentially run into.

"We could always here our tour guide and so no matter where if we scattered out a little bit, we could always hear our tour guide and what was going on and where to meet back at," Patton said.

We were also told they had other tour guides there in the city in addition to and EF Tour facility there as well.

"I felt very safe the whole entire time today," Patton added.

The group visited numerous areas in London including Buckingham Palace.

"There were a lot of policemen out," Patton said. "A lot of policemen with rifles. Very present letting people know they were here."

Patton said overall, the day was very quiet for them while they were out visiting the different areas in London.

"Really the only difference was the amount of policemen that had machine guns. That was really the only difference," Patton said.

The group's trip involves visiting London, Paris, Florence and Rome.

Their next stop on the trip was Paris where on Tuesday, June 6, a man with a hammer attacked Paris police guarding the Notre Dame Cathedral, allegedly crying "This is for Syria" before being shot and wounded by officers.

Kacie Patton said her group of students remains safe and they were not in the immediate area of the incident that occurred near Notre Dame Cathedral Tuesday morning.

"We left around 8:15 a.m. to go to the cathedral but the traffic was so bad that we were running behind schedule and she did not want us to rush," Patton said. "So we're just going to go to this park because we had a walking tour and bus tour."

Patton did say that there was never any concern for their safety but understands how family members back in Missouri might have been worried since they were in the area.

Patton and her group have a private Facebook Page and update family members of their trip frequently.

"As soon as we found out about this incident in Paris, we found a cafe and we logged into wifi and let them know," Patton said. "Honestly, EF, the organization we're with, they are phenomenal. They're not going to take us anywhere that there's danger."

Even the demeanor of the people in the cities were been calm after these attacks, which Patton said have led them to remain calm as well.

"The police over here in Paris, like it was in London, make it very known that they (the police) are here," Patton said. "They walk the streets and we feel very, very secure here. In both cities, we never felt, and I can say this about my kids too because I talked to them. We've never felt in danger. They don't get phased by this. And I think that we see them so calm then I think we are kind of saying we aren't going to be worried as well."

Patton said the trip went exactly as planned for the most part and the group was a happy bunch that enjoyed their time in Europe.

"We're having a great time," Patton commented. We went to Versailles, we went to the Eiffel Tower, we did a boat cruise on the river. As soon as we pulled up from the boat cruise the Eiffel Tower lit up and started doing its sparkling thing. My kids loved it."

She said the children took pictures and created memories as if they weren't bothered by the two incidents that have happened in the first two cities they visited.

Patton said it's unfortunate that the incidents happened, but it's becoming more normal to hear about them.

"It's everywhere. It's sad that we do live in a world that is filled with some hate," Patton added. "The sad thing is we go to a St. Louis ballgame and there could be an attack there. They're going to attack big places where they can do the most damage and the sad part is it's not just over here. It's also in America."

Patton did want to ensure to families back in the Marble Hill area that they were safe.

"I want everyone back home to know we are safe, we are taking precautions, we are very aware of our surroundings and we stay in a big group and have great communication," Patton added. "We're not going to let anything ruin our trip for our kids and for us."

Patton said they planned to visit the Louvre and stop by the Notre Dame Cathedral before leaving Paris to head to Italy.

"Just don't let this hatred in the world make you afraid of traveling because it's awesome and we're having a fantastic time," Patton said.

She's taking her own advice.

Patton said she is already planning a student trip to Greece in 2019.

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