It started as just another day, but ended with the world not quite being the same again. Again.
Not for the worker whose daily rush-hour commute will now forever be haunted with visions of horror. Or for the child whose terrified screams as he is carried along the smoke-filled Metro tunnels to safety have been played across the world. Or for the father queuing for an Easter trip away who scooped up his tiny baby like a doll and fled for their lives as the carnage unfolded around him. Or for the heroic baggage handler whose selflessness tending to blood-soaked casualties will cause him nightmares for the rest of his life. Or for the dozens left maimed, limbless and disfigured. Or for those still clinging on to life.
Or not even for those watching the aftermath of the terror on a TV screen thousands of miles away who are now imagining how it could have just as easily been them.
The attack on Brussels has come just a little over four months since Paris, our close neighbour, was devastated in the same cowardly manner.
Just hours after that attack the world came together in a show of resilience. “You and your bombs are not going to make us hide inside our homes,” we proudly declared to the terrorists as we sat defiantly at the cafe window seat and booked tickets to watch our favourite band at their next concert.
And today, with the Brussels Metro network already reopened and its airport preparing to take flights tomorrow, we are once again reminded of the same spirit and sentiment.
We must never let these cowards win. We must go to the cinema, keep that dinner date, pack into a crowded concert hall, take the Metro to work and continue to book holidays abroad. We must continue going about our lives as normal if we have any chance of showing them that they will never succeed in changing our way of life.
But it does not change the fact that every one of those poor people caught up in the atrocities had woken up with plans for the day ahead, with plans for their future, only to have that ripped away in an instant through no fault of their own. I just wonder how many attacks like this it will take before we stop throwing caution to the wind and living our lives a little less ‘normally’ and carefree than we should be? Because the truth is that we all know that it could just as easily have been any one of us.
Managing (most of the time) Director, Dodo Pad