Wednesday, December 14, 2011

There was a shooting in Liège yesterday; a man threw grenades of the roof of a sandwich shop and shot into the crowd.  In the middle of the city, where I take the bus, about 15 minutes after my bus left.  It was weird to come in today and see the shattered glass from the bus stops on the ground and police tape everywhere.  It was even more strange to see the the flowers and candles set out where the 17-year-old high school student was killed waiting for his bus on his way home from exams.

Belgians have this reputation for being nice and friendly and boring, and I haven't met anyone who didn't live up to at least the friendly part, so it's still hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that something like this would happen in Belgium, in my city.

Memorial at the bus stop

But as much as this has been reminder that there are bad people in the world (and yes, even in Belgium), it is also a reminder of how good most of the people are.  Last night and this afternoon, there were messages on facebook and cell phones and emails from students at my school, other AFS kids, people at home, asking if everybody was all right, if everyone would be in school tomorrow, and if we could talk to the school about doing something for the people whose friends and families had been injured.  At school today, everyone was forgiving of any absent, sympathetic to anyone who might not want to take their exam in light of yesterday.  In Place Saint-Lambert, where the shooting occurred, there were people gathered around talking to each other, offering tissues to strangers, placing signs and candles for the wounded.  I even saw one younger boy tell a couple to stop arguing, that there shouldn't be any more fighting right now, and they stopped.

I hope that in the rest of the world, things have been a little more peaceful.  Maybe someone else has taken on the nice and boring personality, at least for one day.  My sympathies go out to anyone whose family or friends were hurt in Liège or in any other violence in the past.  Je suis de tout cœur avec vous.

1 comment:

  1. Je suis de tout coeur avec vous Liege.