Homage was paid to victims of terrorism on Tuesday at 11.00 a.m. at the monument erected in their honour close to the Schuman Roundabout in Brussels. Many victims, relatives and friends of victims, political leaders and representatives of associations attended the commemoration, organized within the framework of the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, instituted last year by the United Nations.
Flowers were laid at the foot of the stele and a minute of silence was observed during the brief ceremony, attended mainly by survivors of the Brussels terror attacks and relatives and friends of the victims of those attacks.
Political personalities taking part in the ceremony included members of the parliamentary commission of investigation into the 22 March 2016 attacks on the Brussels subway and Zaventem airport. The event was also attended by members of the office of the federal public prosecutor and a commission set up to provide victims of intentional acts of violence with financial assistance.
Two associations that provide aid to the victims, V-Europe and Victim Support Europe, organized the commemoration at the request of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, UNCCT, with which they cooperate.
The ceremony was addressed by V-Europe President Philippe Vansteenkiste and Coronel Serge Stroobants, a lecturer at the Royal Military School. Both honoured the memory of people who lost their lives during the attacks and reiterated their support for the victims and their relatives.
One of the survivors, who was in the subway during the attack at Maelbeek, stressed that an international day of homage was, in fact, necessary. “It was not only Belgium (that has been affected), it is happening throughout the world,” she said. “Everyday people are dying or are afraid of receiving a bomb on their heads. This type of day allows us never to forget, even if we wish to move on.”
The various participants later had an opportunity to exchange a few words.