A Day of Mourning

Originally I had intended to post something else today. Another post of the Writing 101 workshop which I´m following on ´The Daily Post´but I decided against it.

This is not the right day for posting something like that.


It´s being called a black day in the history of the Netherlands, a Day of Mourning.

I personally haven´t lost anyone close and yet the pain I’m feeling is hard to describe. I can’t imagine what it must be like when you lost someone close to you, I’m not pretending that I have any idea. In most cases people all around the world lost more than one person. Since these were families and friends who were just going on a holiday. People who’ll never come home again. Who left on that plane filled with happiness and excitement for their trip to a completely different country, which came to such an abrupt halt.

My television is on, I’ve just seen the arrival of the first 40 victims by an Australian and a Dutch Military plane. I watched as the caskets were unloaded from the plane by Military personnel. Finally these people are being treated with the respect and dignity they deserved and should have gotten all along. What happened, happened – it’s a split second thing – and we can’t change that but what happens afterwards that is in our hands. They should have been treated with respect. It doesn’t matter who came home today the respect which is being shown right now is something which I’ve never seen before.

It’s so insane to look at the images on the television, weather wise it’s the perfect day. It’s sunny and with bright blue skies and you’re watching forty hearses making their way to Hilversum. Forty hearses driving down the highway from Eindhoven to Hilversum, where the remains will be identified – which is going to be a long, long process. The highway to Hilversum is closed, however the other side of the road is open but as soon as the hearses approach those cars are coming to halt as well. Every bridge, overpass and the side of the road is filled with people paying their respects to the victims either by just standing there with their hand on their heart or clapping their hands. Just random people who like I might have not known anyone on that flight, but they are feeling the pain and the grief just as much as I am. It doesn’t matter that we don’t know who’s arriving today.

What matters is that 298 human beings were killed in a war which wasn’t theirs, no one should die in a war without a doubt but that’s not the point – these were completely innocent bystanders. A lot of them children on their way to a vacation destination with their families.  And it might take weeks even months before they can actually go home to be laid to rest.


It’s a black, black day.

I know it doesn’t really help but you are all in my thoughts.


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