Brussels Terror Attacks: Scars Heal but Pain Lingers as Belgium Marks One-Year Anniversary

Brussels Terror Attacks: Scars Heal but Pain Lingers as Belgium Marks One-Year Anniversary

Brussels International Airport, where 16 people died in two bomb attacks on March 22 2016, looks shiny new. The Maelbeek subway station, where another 16 died from a backpack bomb, processes commuters much as it always has. And tourism is recovering, despite Donald Trump calling the Belgian capital a “hellhole” to be avoided at all costs. 

One year after the attacks, the city's physical scars may have healed, but the pain is apparent beneath the surface. Still, the city's residents and authorities are determined to find a way to forge ahead, without changing the character of one of the world's most international cities. 

“Confronted by doubts and fears, you have shown courage and a magnificent will to reconstruct,” King Philippe told a remembrance service. 

It comes under difficult circumstances. Surveillance is up almost everywhere. The city and Belgium as a whole continue to live at the second-highest terror level, meaning there is a serious threat of an attack. 

The fear of an attack is widely shared across Europe, underlined at Britain's parliament Wednesday as an attacker stabbed an officer and was then shot by police, and witnesses said a vehicle struck several people on the nearby bridge. 

Even if locals in Brussels are mostly oblivious to heavily armed paratroopers patrolling the city's landmarks, visitors still stop in their tracks when they notice the camouflage dress and the machine guns. 

At the airport, authorities “have taken a lot of additional security measures that go well beyond the European regulations,” Arnaud Feist, Brussels Airport CEO, said in an interview with The Associated Press. 

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/brussels-terror-attacks-one-year-anniversary-belgium-capital-bomb-airport-maelbeek-subway-station-a7645406.html

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