Where were you when this semester’s terror attack in Brussels took place? Copenhagen, on Spring Break.
How soon after it happened did you find out? Thirty Minutes.
Who told you? My uncle who lives in Copenhagen, whom I was staying with at the time.
Were you scared? Incredibly saddened, but not scared.
These are some of the questions my friends and family asked me upon receiving news of the Brussels bombings claimed by the Islamic terrorist organization, ISIS. It was a scary time, but being closer to the targeted city, I almost felt safer because I knew more about the situation. The media coverage was clearer, more accurate, less threatening, and simply to the point. This made it possible to view the circumstances and course of events with a more secure idea of the true threat. Although it should be taken seriously, the situation cannot affect the lives of those throughout the world simply due to unwarranted fear of sudden terrorism. Although we must mourn and pray for the victims and their families, it is in the face of fear where we need to remain the strongest.
Prior to coming abroad, I was quite concerned with the number of fellow students who agreed to forget their plans, cancel their flights, lose their deposit money for various study abroad programs, and drop out entirely. They did this due to terrorism, which has become a more eminent and realistic threat to myself and fellow students while studying abroad in Europe. However, our parents did not convince us to stay home in the wake of last year’s attacks in Paris, but rather they argued that we should not let any such fear hold us back in our lives’ endeavors. For their encouragement and guidance, I am very thankful, as I would not have experienced such an incredible journey had I decided to hold back due to fear.
We must instead revel in the joy that is our lives, and accept the past in order to embrace the present while looking forward to the future. Below are posted some of the photos taken that day that will remind me to take advantage of life for those who no longer obtain the fortune to do so. In memory of those lost in the Brussels bombings, I dedicate the following slideshow of 35 photographs to the 35 people who passed that day.