Rebecca Reingold ’17
During his first Inaugural Address, Franklin D. Roosevelt offered the immortal reassurance, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. As the American people hurdled major political and economic issues – most notably, the Great Depression – their president reassured them the nation would endure. Nearly a century later, his quote holds true for the world crisis affecting our own generation
Recently – as I’m sure you know – members of ISIS attacked the Brussels airport with homemade explosives meant to kill a large groups of people. Hearing about yet another mass-murder brought me to a wreck, to say the least. Naturally, I reacted at first with tears and then anger and frustration over global terrorism’s continuance.
A friend and I had planned on traveling to the Brussels airport the next day. The next day. We were terrified. We cancelled our flights and booked one right back to our study abroad location in Rome.
However, I’ve seen the European countries respond to the attacks with bravery. OR: However, bravery has characterized the European response to these attacks. OR: But in all my travels, I’ve seen the European people respond to these attacks with bravery. No, not people taking a stand and confronting members of ISIS face to face, but simply moving on. Yes, moving on. Why? Because they do not fear anything but fear itself. Like the Americans of the 1930s, today’s Europeans realize the importance of carrying on, grateful for what they have. Accepting that anything can happen at any given time, they step forward into their daily lives without fear.
In both Brussels and Paris, the people took their profound tragedy with dignity. They showed solidarity to the victims denied ISIS the satisfaction of seeing their countries in terror. Of course, residents of both cities know as well as us that these attacks will likely come again. It seems a matter of when, not if, the next attack will come. But they hold fast – as we must – to the knowledge that fear accomplishes nothing. We do what we can in regards to prevention, but refuse to cower to terrorism.
This collective, versatile character is precisely what shows these monsters that they will not dictate how we live and they will not scare us. Anything can happen, anything is possible. What should not happen, though, is letting these foul humans take away our freedom and dignity. We will persevere and we will not be afraid.