BRUSSELS: “Brussels I love you” says the message written in chalk on a historic city square, a place for raucous celebration that has become a scene of grief after Belgium’s worst terror attack.
Wrapped in the national flag and carrying candles and flowers, Belgians flocked in their hundreds to the Place de la Bourse in the ancient heart of the city to grieve for the dead.
The European Union’s symbolic heart was left reeling Tuesday after some 35 people were killed in bombings at Zaventem Airport and on a metro train.
A lone musician played a cello as a mourner waved a banner reading “United against hate” and another message scrawled on the ground said: “Christians + Muslims + Jews = humanity”.
“It’s important to get together after moments like these,” Leila Devin, 22, told AFP. “It shows we’re united against terror.”
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel joined the mourners after dark fell and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker also paid homage to the dead.
“Tonight I am Belgian,” he said, full of emotion.
Landmarks around the world, from New York’s One World Trade Center to the Eiffel Tower in Paris were lit up in the black, yellow and red of Beligum’s national flag in solidarity.