Berlin, I Stand With You
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Berlin, I Stand With You

A response to the tragedy in Berlin.

Berlin, I Stand With You
Bailey Shafer

On the night of December 19th in Berlin a truck plowed through a large Christmas market. The news of this incident hit me hard. At this point it is unknown if this is an accident or an attack, although reports at the time of writing suggest that an attack is the more likely label. My breath quickened as I read about the events that had transpired — literally a month prior I had walked through the very same market. At that point it was a few days from opening.

Christmas markets are an important part of the culture in Europe. It's importantly to note the role these markets play in the holiday season. Tourists and locals alike flock to these markets to buy gifts, sip on Glühwein and eat traditional foods. That's why this hurts so much. It shows how any little thing can be a target.

Europe has been rocked by terror attacks and the evidence of such attacks is evident. Nowhere showed that fear and danger quite like France. Three weeks prior to this attack, French authorities stopped a terror cell in Strasbourg. The cell had planned attacks for the beginning of December in Paris, with targets like the Christmas markets on the Champs Élysée. The precautions were also seen everywhere. The country has been in a state of emergency since January and as a result, most Christmas markets had concrete barriers surrounding them and nearly all stores and tourist attractions have guards.

We don't know yet if this was a terror attack and I certainly hope it wasn't. An accident can be dismissed as a tragedy that probably won't happen again. But terrorism rocks you to your core. As someone living in Europe, it is always a nagging concern. We have been told not to make our nationality known, it could make us targets. I have had to check with members of my group now multiple times to make sure no one was in a city where a terrible tragedy had occurred. So it hurts.

Berlin, I feel your pain. I feel the fear you must now be feeling. I feel it because I walked in that place not too long ago. I walked through so many other Christmas markets and did what others did. I drank my Glühwein, enjoyed the company of friends, yet not everyone gets to come home. I feel this because I could have been there, but I also could have been anywhere else. This could happen anywhere, and it scares me.

Terrorism cannot rule our lives, even though it may try. We must continue on even when it seems hard. Berlin, I stand with you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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