On the day after terrorists committed yet two more high-profile atrocities in the Belgian capital of Brussels, the city and the nation was doing its best to get back to normal.
On March 22, twin explosions rocked the city’s main airport and downtown subway station, at last count killing 31 and injuring 270 others.
People were returning to work, students were returning to school and life continued with the resolve on the part of many to get back to life’s daily routine still ever mindful of their vulnerability.
One intern at the European Commission prepared to board the train near the bombed subway station. He acknowledged, “You can feel the fear on the streets today. But he quickly added, “But you can also see that people want to fight it. It’s a good thing.”
A 20-year-old student on her way to classes said simply, “We know these things can happen, but we must go on.”
Authorities have been frequently finding locations of many ISIS cells in Brussels and reporting raids and arrests, particularly since November bombings in Paris. A trail of clues led police to Belgium.
With a number of high-profile ISIS arrests in Belgium in recent months, it is no surprise that ISIS devotees targeted the nation and its capital. Residents have been keenly aware of that possibility.
Fighting back by seeking to restore normalcy is one way Belgians are showing their resolve to overcome fear and demonstrate their own resistance to terrorism.
Response from people on the streets the day after the horrific tragedy was certainly not matter-of-fact. Suicide bombers exposed the city and nation’s vulnerability, and no one knows what continent, nation or city will be the next target by radicals.
Bill Webb is editor of Word & Way.
Another result of the bombings was that the following day police and military reinforcements were obvious on the streets and on transit lines and airports in major cities, including those in the U.S.
Investigative diligence regularly thwarts ISIS plans for which every citizen should be grateful. This simply means that ongoing diligence will be necessary in both preventing and solving these periodic atrocities.
Living in fear is not a productive option.