March 25, 2016
On Good Friday, the Brussels Philharmonic and the Flemish Radio Choir performed a European anthem, Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” from his Ninth Symphony, at the memorial site set up to honor the victims of Tuesday’s terror attacks. The Place De La Bourse in Brussels continues to draw tens of thousands of people, coming to pay their respects.
Music is a universal language. The idea for the performance arose spontaneously with the musicians. Organizers hope that the world sees this as a call for peace, a hymn of hope for the future. The General Manager of the Philharmonic and the Choir explained, “Music bonds, helps with healing, with dealing and overcoming, bringing people together.”
Tuesday’s attack was the worst such assault in Belgian history. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Brussels meeting with the Belgians, who want to work with the French, the U.S. and other European nations in a more coordinated crackdown on ISIS. Stated Kerry today, “No act of terror can undermine the foundation of our friendship or the values that define our alliance.”
The site of the concert, the steps of Belgium‘s capital stock exchange, has become the place for national mourning. Flowers and candles have been placed by residents and visitors in front of the 19th century building since the day after the attacks, in memory of the 31 killed and more than 300 injured. Please enjoy this touching moment in their memory.