BRUSSELS, March 22
Today, Belgium woke up to mourn those who have perished in the terrible attacks that hit the Airport and the metro stations in Brussels. Memorials took place in memory of the 32 civilians killed and 340 wounded in the coordinated Brussels airport and metro terror attacks that struck the Belgian capital on March 22, 2016. Victim Support Europe stands in solidarity with all the ‘Bruxellois’, and all the citizens of Europe and the World that have been hit by this terrorist attack.
ZAVENTEM – The ceremony began at 7:58 am when suicide bombers struck in the departure hall of Zaventem Airport three years ago, killing 16 people. At 10:00 am families and friends of the victims of the attack held a serene commemoration for the third anniversary of the attacks with a minute of silence. It is clear that those affected by the Brussels attacks still face an ongoing struggle with the consequences of the attacks and that they feel they are not supported enough by the government. They still seek for help, both psychological and also in regards to administrative procedures and compensation that is not received.
After the commemoration in the departure hall, a moment of reflection was held in the Memorial Garden at Zaventem airport. With dozens of people gathered under a clear sky just like that of a year ago, victims and the representatives of the victim associations took the floor there to express the pain that they still feel three years after the attacks.
“We are here again at this place where so many have suffered and some have lost the most precious thing that exists – life”, says Jamila Adda from Brussels4Life. “We suffer in silence, the silence that sometimes drives us crazy. Our heart just wants to scream. Crying for the absence of the people who left us three years ago”.
Names of victims on the wall in Maalbeek
In Maalbeek, victims and relatives gave speeches. The ceremony was opened by STIB spokeswoman An Van Hamme. She unveiled a new wall with the names of the deceased. “Three years ago 16 people died here,” said Van Hamme. “Their names were written on the wall in the subway station, so that they always remain in our minds and in tribute to all the victims.”
Victim Support Europe strongly condemns all the acts of terrorism all over the world, and we stand united with those who will not cave into fear or hatred. Brussels will remain a symbol of unity. It is the capital of the European Union and our response to these attacks will continue to remain united in the defence of the core European values of democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. This opens the path for more cooperation and deepened integration, rather than hatred, fear, racism and xenophobia.