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Brussels preserving pain, peace and pacification for posterity

Brussels preserving pain, peace and pacification for posterity

Belgium

As the rest of the world marks Easter celebrations, Belgians woke up to a somber Sunday morning, five days after suicide bomb attacks killed 28 and left scores injured and in intensive care.

What was once a bubbly environment on such days, Place de la Bourse has been transformed into a giant mural for people to chalk tributes to the victims of the attacks and leave notes of grief, defiance and togetherness.

Archivists are also collecting these messages for posterity, photographing and storing a lot of those that can be physically collected.

I don't think they (Belgians) should get used to this, because this is an uncomfortable situation that generates fear among people.

“We have two missions today. To try to photograph as many of the messages laid here, especially those that can’t be collected,” said Frederic Boquet, Brussels head archivist.

The messages at the Belgian stock exchange portray anger and sorrow with people from around the world showing their solidarity on social media.

Maria Revuelta, a Spanish student attending the memorial at the square, said Belgians should avoid becoming accustomed to feeling fearful in their own country.

“I don’t think they (Belgians) should get used to this, because this is an uncomfortable situation that generates fear among people. People should be made to feel safe but that’s not the case,” she said.

Belgian federal prosecutors said they had charged three men, including a suspect Belgian media believe was a man captured on security footage with the two men believed to have blown themselves up at the airport.

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