The President of Victim Support Europe João Lázaro and the Executive Director Levent Altan were among those attending the first ever International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism commemoration service taking place in Brussels on the 21st of August.
The flower laying ceremony organised by ‘V-Europe’ in partnership with ‘Victim Support Europe’ honoured all victims of terrorism. The commemoration service in Brussels as well as other remembrance events around the world will be held annually on the 21st of August. According to a statement on the UN website, the special day is meant to allow victims of terrorism who “often feel forgotten and neglected” in the aftermath of a terrorist attack “to have their voices heard, have their needs supported, and their rights upheld.”
Indeed, as Brussels Representative of Institute for Economics and Peace Serge Stroobants, remarked on the first International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, no country can consider itself immune, with almost every nationality in the world falling victim to terrorist attacks.
Other attendees of the service included Minister Celine Fremault, Member of Parliament Patrick Dewael who is President of the Parliamentary Enquiry Commission regarding the terrorist attacks, Member of Parliament Georges Dallemagne (member Enquiry Commission), Member of Parliament Kitir Meryame (member Enquiry Commission), the representatives of The Commission for Victims of Terrorism (Justice), Federal Police representatives, Head of Zaventem Airport Police, Advisor on National Security Mr. Kenneth Lasoen.
The service was followed by a roundtable discussion (hosted by ‘V-Europe’) on the whole notion of a commemorative event and the concept of the next year’s ceremony: what are the aims, what are the possible formats, what is the impact that remembrance events have on attendees, and what can be gained by pairing the concept of commemoration and the development of positive narratives to further raise awareness on the issue of victims of terrorism.