The 22nd of May.

On the 22nd or May,

The world woke up to the news that there had been a terrorist attack at the end of Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester.

22 beautiful had lost their lives there that evening, 22 beautiful people that got taken away from us so brutally, there are no words to express the sadness, boys and girls that were going to see their idol, an 8 year old girl that went to her first concert and never came back home…

It was a cowardly attack.. like all the other terrorist attacks, but this hits us even more because they were many children at the concert, and that’s when you start to think, how sick can this person have been to actually try to harm children, innocent little people that aren’t even aware from what is happening around the world.
These people were having the time of their lives, going to see their idol in concert, most of them were looking forward to this for months.

For most people the emotional aspect is perhaps one of the most difficult ones to bear with, especially with little children that saw what happened, that were there, and saw people running around in panic.

But when i watched the news i was also amazed by how amazing the people of Manchester are coping with it, how beautiful many people are coming together in order to help others, from the Domino’s restaurant delivering pizza’s to the local hospitals and aid workers, to the people offering cups of tea and coffee to the police men, from the taxis offering free cab rides home, to the countless people that selflessly took in some children in order to protect them for any danger.

The perpetrators are mainly focusing on fear, but after every attack there has been a flood of good things done by people to show that we are stronger than fear and hate, small gestures, like laying flowers and lighting candles, to big gestures that were happening around the world to show their support.

When the Charlie Hebdo attacks happened, i was in Paris, and i saw the gigantic marching happening with over 3,7 million people marching through the streets of Paris to show their support and to stand up to freedom, many people carrying little notes with  this amazing quote on it that said, ’I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.’

I was driving on the highway and i saw a guy waving the French flag, he was standing on top of he’s car.
On the night of the attacks in November 2016, when they were evacuating the stade de France stadium people started to sing le “Marseillaise.” the French national anthem while exiting the building. The place de la Republique became the place where you could go to, so many people found comfort and freedom to express their feelings there, to write down their most profound thoughts and stick it with little adhesive tape to the monument, after 2 days the monument was covered in little papers, notes, letters, flowers and candles.

After the attacks that happened on the 13th of November, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and any other social media platform was flooded with images of the Eiffel tower mixed with a peace sign in the middle. Millions of people took to social media to show their support, ‘porte ouvert’ got created, offering people through social media a so called ‘open-door’ people opening their doors to strangers, in order to help them to stay safe, people all around the word were amazed by how many people were offering an open door to strangers, cabs offering free rides to people to get back home, stories came out later about how some people risked their own life to save someone else’s, there was a ‘free hugs’ event taking place shortly after the attacks happened, where people from all religions offered hugs to strangers, there was a man with a piano playing John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ in front of a big crowd of people, to be honest i can’t even write all the beautiful things people have done, to show their support, because there were too many to write down, each and every one of them was incredibly beautiful. After the attacks in Brussels, people came together on the place de la bourse, i heard a woman on the radio saying how on the first night, right after it happened she saw 2 woman who had the Belgian flag wrapped around them, and hugged each other, they had been sitting at the place de la bourse all night, crying and hugging each other.

Quickly after that the free hugs movement started at the place de la bourse as well,
When i went to see the place de la bourse shortly after that i saw notes laying next to flowers and teddy bears saying ‘they can’t tame us’ ‘they can’t get us down’, ‘they will never be able to break our love’ i saw photos of the beautiful people that had passed away, some with a note from a loved one, saying how much they loved them and i saw a young couple standing in the middle of it, i asked them why they were there, they had lost a loved one in the metro of Maelbeek, the guy was lighting all the candles and crying at the same time, a little boy came to join him, there were over 300 candles he was one by one lighting all of them, he said ‘I feel like doing this because through the light we will keep the love and the souls with us.’

Like the father who calmed he’s son after the Paris attacks saying ‘they might have guns but we have flowers’,

We sometimes think all the love is gone, and that’s the impression you get at first when something like this happens, but there are so many thing done by lovely sweet people that show the opposite, We will never give up on freedom, we will never give up on humanity and we will never give up on love.

And instead of hating each other, and being scared we always do the exact opposite, we show the world how great we are, how powerful our right to freedom is, how much we love each other, and we cherish the beautiful memories of the people we have lost.
‘Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around. – Prime Minister in The movie, Love Actually

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

-Fred Rogers

IMG_4166boy with the little babyIMG_4476IMG_4470IMG_4297IMG_4147IMG_4141IMG_4421place de la bourseIMG_6559

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