Gwennan Rees

Blogger and Illustrator

A Reaction To Brussels.

A Reaction To Brussels.

Hello World postcard, sending love to Brussels.

I'm all about the reactive posts at the moment, typing away whenever I see anything I have an opinion on in the news or trending on Twitter (have a look as yesterdays post about Zoella).

It's been near enough a week since the horrific killings in the airport and the metro in Brussels and the world is recovering slowly, while a lot of lives will never be recovered at all. 

It seems unfathomable that we can be reading headlines in the news and seeing footage on television and thinking "another" attack. Like it's common news. Like we see it all the time. And we do. This is a real threat to all of us and every attack is ANOTHER attack. 

The attacks in Brussels brought up yet again, a whole movement of anger and blame and some of the hashtags trending on Twitter made me feel ashamed to even be reading it. Yet again a whole religion was blamed for the acts of a few and yet again, the media came under fire for 'making such a fuss' when attacks in Turkey a few days previously didn't have half the coverage of Brussels. 

But what I struggle with is how does the world move on? How do WE as individuals move on, even if it hasn't affected us directly. Even if we don't live in that city, we aren't the families involved, just hearing the headlines on the news affects us and how do we recuperate from that? 

I think they key is in the normality of life. The attacks in Brussels were on people in the airport and people on the metro. These were people excited to be going on their holidays, people waiting for loved ones at the terminal, people just going about their daily commute. This was done at a busy time of the day when the people involved were probably just on their way to work and it's the normality of that, that I think is the key to moving forward. 

The extremist group who have taken responsibility for the attacks last week inherently hate everything to do with the West and how we live our lives. They hate our culture and our way of life and I think this has to be the way in which we retaliate. 

Yes, for sure, we need to take our safety seriously. We need to think about maybe bringing metal detectors into the arrivals lounge of airports, into the foyer so this can't happen again. We need to keep our terror threat in the UK as severe because it keeps us vigilant, it keeps us safe. Our governments need to continue to work to keep us safe and to minimise the chances of something like this happening again. 

But what we, as individuals, as normal people can retaliate too, simply in the way we live. The people who committed these attacks hate the way in which we live our lives so surely this is how we have to continue? To show we aren't scared. To show we won't be beaten. To show we will go on in memory of those who lost their lives and we will continue to live ours to the best of our ability. 

So when you read such scary, upsetting news in the papers or online or hear the headlines on the TV don't feel guilty for complaining about the menial things that aggravate you, don't feel guilty for wasting a day on social media. Don't feel guilty for continuing your life as you always have done, but just hug your family that little bit harder, tell the people you love how you feel about them, don't go to bed angry and give someone a kiss before you leave. 


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