The title of this post goes back to WWI, when our tiny county was invaded by the Prussians in 1914 and the sufferings my (great)grandparents went through from 1914 till 1918. My grandfather fought in the trenches in 'Flanders' Fields' (where the poppies grow) during that war. It was a dirty war, in which the enemy used lethal chemical gases, killing or disabling the allied soldiers for the rest of their lives.
Despite these horrors, it was a 'regular' (maybe this isn't the right word, but I can't come up with a better one) war. You knew where the enemy was, you knew the kind of weapons he had and - maybe, just maybe - you knew when he would strike. The soldiers who fought in that war, didn't know what they were getting into when they were drafted, but at least they knew that they were going to war, and that there was a chance/risk that they wouldn't be coming back. They said goodbye to their families and friends, pledging (hoping) that they would return ...
The people who died in yesterday's terrorist attacks at Brussels airport and Maalbeek metro (underground-subway) left their homes in the morning with the firm intention to return in the evening or to arrive at their destination. They never got the chance to say goodbye to their loved-ones.
Beside all the pain and horror these attacks at a mere 15 km (as the bird flies) from my home, have inflicted on the victims and their families, I have a hard time accepting that we are left to the mercy of these heartless killers.
Brussels wasn't their first target: 9/11, Madrid, London, Paris ... not to mention the other attacks in Asia, the Middle East and Africa ... So many victims, so many disrupted lives and families.
I know, I promised you a report of yesterday's events. I was never close to the terror sites, but I know Brussels airport (was there in May last year when I travelled to Corfu) and I know the metro station which was on my way to university between 1975 and 1979. So these sites are all familiar to me. Which makes it even harder to digest ...
Hope our 'Brave-little-Belgium' spirit is up to this 21st century challenge.
More tomorrow ..