I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I hope to catch up soon, but today I wanted to write about the attacks on Brussels that occurred earlier today.

Of course, if you’re reading this you know that I am currently studying abroad in Italy, first and foremost, I would just like to say that myself and all of my fellow classmates are safe. Luckily for us, the attacks were during the week and didn’t pose an extreme threat to us.

Living in Europe during this attack has offered a completely different perspective on the situation. When living in America, you’re in a bubble. Everything is so distant. That’s what it was like after the Paris attacks. It was so, unbelievably far away contrasting with now living on the same continent.

The closest thing most Americans would have experienced to this is 9/11 which was nearly 15 years ago. Anyone younger than me has absolutely no recollection of 9/11, which again makes it seem very far away, like it didn’t really happen to you (which sounds insensitive, but it’s the reality of 9/11 for kids my age and younger).

Reading about the attacks in Brussels was just as shocking as reading about the attacks on Paris in December. But this time, I’m here. It’s a different experience to have visited the city targeted just a week earlier.

All of those who were killed and injured in the attacks (and their loved ones) will remain in my thoughts, because that’s all I can do. I can hope that they will get through this tragedy. That’s all anybody who isn’t in the immediate region near Brussels can do. And I personally find it very inspiring when I see people from all over the world uniting to support those effected by today’s events. I love to see hashtags for Brussels in different languages, and images of different cities and countries showing their support. I think that is one of the most positive impact social media has provided us. I, along with everyone else, am capable of showing my support. And although some people decide that it’s not worth it to post on social media because it doesn’t really help anyone. I like to imagine those effected will see all the support, thoughts, and prayers online and make their situation just a little bit better.

It’s amazing to see supportive posts flooding the internet, and people reposting articles from reliable news sites to keep people well informed. Even now, I’m reading new information like a third bomb in the airport was just deactivated. The situation there could have been even worse than it is.

I am extremely grateful to be in Italy right now, and must warn those reading that this weekend my friends and I are still planning to take our trip to Paris (mom, please don’t freak out). Right now is probably one of the safest times to travel as security is most major cities has been increased.

I am thankful for everything I’ve experienced so far while here in Italy, the good and the bad. And this will be a day that I will never forget.

~Sarah Ann

My Last Post: Boring Week?


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