Chronicles from the other side (of the Atlantic) English News Travel

Airport terror

As I write this, breaking news about another terror attack in Istanbul are quickly invading my TV screen, newspapers, social media. Soon enough, Facebook profiles, maybe including mine, will feature the Turkish flag in support of the victims. We will be horrified for a few days, politicians will pledge to protect us, and while all that happens, we will become a little number, as it occurs when attacks start happening too close to each other to be relevant for more than 24 hours.

I was going to go to sleep and wait until the morning, until more information was available, after at least authorities had an idea of who was behind this carnage.

Then, I realized that it doesn’t matter. I realized that terrorism is terrorism, that it doesn’t really matter where it comes from, that it just matters that some crazy person who thinks this is fighting decided to kill other human beings. And, regardless of the acronym behind this particular attack , as I write this at least two dozen people have lost their lives tonight, unexpectedly, undeservedly, unnecessarily.

As I have written before, terrorism has been part of the background of my life since I can remember. In my region of Spain the terrorist group ETA killed more than a thousand people over the years, and terrorized and silenced many many people who, like me, just happened to think differently than they did.

Terrorism is the main reason why I am a foreigner, as I had decided by the time I was a college junior, that I wasn’t able to live any longer in a place where I didn’t feel safe enough to speak freely.

As luck has it sometimes, at the same time I was leaving my little neck of the woods, a period of calm started there while terrorism seemed to spread around the world, and became the latest globalized item.

As I write this, I am concerned. I refuse to be scared, because if I am, the terrorists are winning. But I reserve the right to be worried about how things are unfolding lately. Today it is Istambul, a couple of weeks ago it was Orlando, before there was Brussels, and Paris, and… We could keep going back. And, sadly, we will keep going forward.

I am afraid that this won’t be the last attack, although I can always hope it is. Securing airports is extremely difficult, because at one point or another, you are going to have to hold a line of people for security purposes, people carrying bags, and suitcases, and bulky items, a nightmare for those who have to screen and protect us.

There is not much we can do, as we need to keep traveling, right? I am not a frequent traveler by business standards, but I make at least a couple of international trips with my kids every year. Right now, we are in Spain, which means that, in a few weeks, I will have to put my kids on an airport, and on a plane, once again. And I would lie if I said that I am not a bit concerned.

As I tucked them in tonight, after a day of fun in the water, swimming pool, summer camp and brotherly fights, after a day of trying for them to be healthy, to eat nutritious and balanced meals, to make peace every now and then, after a day of keeping them safe, it would suck if a motherfucker decides to blow himself up anywhere close to them. I’m sure I am not the only mother thinking this right now.

I could decide to stay put in my house once I get back to Chicago in August, but I refuse. As I wrote before, that would be the terrorists’ victory, and that, I won’t abide for. You shouldn’t either.

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