The terrorists won

**********I wrote this back in May, but wasn’t sure whether or not to publish it…several months later and I think I’m ok to share it now*************

I hate to say it but the terrorists beat me. Well not wholly, but they made me change what I would normally do. I admit that when I was in Brussels last week I had an afternoon off work and rather than head into the town center for the obligatory sightseeing, I stayed in my hotel room and binged on British TV.  Why? Because knowing that this week was well known for Trump and other heads of state visiting Brussels for a meeting with NATO I decided it was prime time for an attack. It’s ridiculous really that this was driving me to make a decision to NOT go out. It’s the first time that’s happened to me, and I hate it because I feel like they finally got to me.

Having said that, I did go back to Brussels airport departures where the attack happened. I couldn’t real avoid it and had to face it. On my own too. As I queued to check in, I recollected that day and the terrifying events. I was queuing not far from where the first bomb went off. My heart raced and I looked around at everyone near me. I wasn’t sure I could stand there waiting for much longer. I felt vulnerable and suddenly exhausted. The departures floor looked the same but different to before the attacks. The queue started moving and I stopped thinking about that day and moved on. I took a picture from where I stood in the aftermath of the bombs and rather stupidly had taken a photo. I wanted to compare.

Brussels airport has a new improved security check which meant I moved through quickly, but only two customs security officers which meant a huge queue to get to the gates. An American in front of me turned and said ‘I don’t want to sound like a privileged American, but this line is ridiculous’. I said to him, ‘do you remember the attacks last year? Wouldn’t you want it to be slower if it meant more secure?’ He looked apologetic. Then I realised…again they had won. The damage had already been done.

Thinking about the suicide attack in Manchester got me wondering about the terrorist’s chosen venue and victims. Those caught up in the events who lived to see the day like I did, they are young and impressionable. They probably never cared about politics, international affairs or the threat of ISIS. But this week they do. And if they feel like me they will be inspired to prevent the terror from spreading to more innocent lives. I have thought seriously about how I can do something in my line of work. And yet, there I was hiding away in my hotel room rather than enjoying the beautiful sights of Brussels. It’s messed up. What kind of world will Aviana live in in 20 years time? Will this be the norm? Or will this be a historic period she will study as a tumultuous past?

3 thoughts on “The terrorists won

  1. Mamalife says:

    Personally I feel the world has gotten better. As someone who comes from a country that has been attacked multiple time by terrorists, I feel the worst of humanity is not as bad as it was during world war 2. Terrorism is a by product of poverty and unemployment. And in a large way, the western world has contributed towards it. But yes, its unforunate when you witness first hand acts of terror. The terrorists didnt really defeat you by making you stay at home, it is just you being cautious for the sake of your loved ones. If they really defeated you, you wouldnt leave home at all, after all how many times have thse lunatics driven on to pedestrains going about their daily lives?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rach @ Stories for Strength says:

    I totally get what you mean. They are getting to me too and I haven’t even experienced something as awful as you. I am supposed to be traveling to The US early Feb next year on my way to Canada. I’m going to C as my bro and his wife will have a new baby but wanted to stop in the US and see some friends on the way. I’ll likely have to fly via the US too. And I’m a bit scared to do it! I have traveled so much and never worried but America seems crazy right now. All the Trump stuff and gun control issues – it just terrifies me. And I’ll be traveling without my kids and I think what if something happens and I never get back to them???? It’s probably a stupid fear and I’m not going to let t beat me but still…it is bothering me.


  3. dubliner in deutschland says:

    I know what you mean. I don’t want the terrorists to win, I’d like to live my life as normally but sometimes I do find myself second guessing whether to avoid events which I know will be really crowded. I really hope things get better, these are scary times.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s