Monuments and commemorations planned for 22 March

Summary

There will be several ways to commemorate the 22 March 2016 terrorist attacks as the capital unveils monuments, and religious institutions and other groups plan memorials

Moment of silence at Maalbeek

The federal government will mark the anniversary of last year's terrorist attacks with the unveiling of a monument on Schumanplein in Brussels, near Maalbeek metro station, where one of the bombings took place.

The attacks took place on 22 March last year, when two suicide bombers detonated their bombs in the departures hall of Brussels Airport at about 8.00. An hour later, another suicide bomber blew up a metro rail car at Maalbeek station, near the EU quarter.

Cardinal Jozef de Kesel will lead a prayer meeting on Wednesday, 22 March in the cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula in central Brussels, while the non-profit Foyer is organising an inter-religious concert in the St John the Baptist church in Molenbeek, bringing together Christians and Muslims in song.

The group Silence for Peace will hold a moment of silence and meditation on a Maalbeek station platform, before unveiling a commemorative plaque.

In other commemorations, the Brussels-Capital Region plans to plant 32 birch trees in the Sonien Forest, one for each victim who died in the attacks. That project will be directed by garden architect Bas Smets and should be “a place of silence and meditation,” according to a spokesperson for environment minister Céline Fremault.

The municipality of Brussels-City has gathered the many messages and other mementoes left by members of the public in front of the Beurs in Brussels in the days following the attacks, with the aim of turning them into a monument. This week the council said it would be communicating more information next week on that and other possible commemorations.

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/BELGA