The 32 victims of the 22nd of March attacks on the Maelbeek metro and Zaventem Airport in Brussels will have a memorial in Soignes forest. 32 trees will be planted in their memory. This was confirmed by the Brussels Environment Minister Céline Fremault. She is the drive behind the initiative, which is backed by the Brussels government.
The Environment Minister has said that it has not yet been decided where the trees will be planted. Several places are being looked at. An area not far from the La Hulpe road in Watermael-Boitsfort, near a Tumulis footpath, is the current favourite. The trees will be birches, which are already several metres tall.
They will be planted on the 21st of March, the first day of spring. The victim’s families will get a letter about it soon.
Preparing the future site has been assigned to Bas Smets, an engineer-architect and landscaper who is well-known in Belgium and abroad.
Céline Fremault said the idea for this collective memorial came to her following a request from friends of a young woman who died in the attacks. She was buried abroad, and they wanted a tree planted in a park they used to go to with her.
The 32 trees will all be dedicated to the memory of the 32 people who died in the attacks, they will not be individual.
The Brussels President-Minister was happy about planting 32 trees in memory of the victims of the attacks – “an important symbol”. He was also happy about the location: “Soignes forest is a quiet place everyone can go to whenever they want”, he said.