Today is a day of national grief in the Netherlands. Today is the day we remember those who have passed away in a horrible way. I myself had just safely arrived in Spain when I heard about the crash. I was shocked. Despite telling myself that I would spend as little time on my phone as possible, I kept looking up information about what had happened. It felt so surreal. Too tragic to be true.
A couple of people who were on holiday with me received phone calls and texts informing them that someone they knew had passed away. This is one of those disasters that affect so many people. Lots of people knew somebody who was on the plane or knew somebody who had lost a relative or a friend. It was a black day in the history of our country.
And I saw quite a few comments saying that suddenly everybody cared about these deaths but nobody cares for Palestina or victims of other wars. I understand that thought and I find every innocent life lost is one too many, regardless of where they are from or who they were. The reason why so many people are in shock about this, is because it happened so close to home and in a terrible way.
These people thought they were going on the holiday of a lifetime. They were going to visit relatives or build up a new life. They boarded the plane without a care in the world and then it was all over within the blink of an eye.
I am watching on tv how some of the bodies are taken to a place to be identified. Cars stopped in the middle of the highway. Thousands of people gathered at the side of the road to pay their respect. It is amazing to see that the victims are being honoured even though this tragedy shouldn't have happened at all.
War is a terrible thing and even though wars have been fought for centuries, what has it truly brought us but sadness and pain?
The victims of MH017 will never be forgotten. And I hope that all innocent lives lost in wars and disasters around the world will be remembered. There are no words for comfort. There is nothing that makes us less fragile. The only thing that can truly make a change, if we put down the weapons and let love conquer.