About a year ago, on the afternoon of August 17, 2017, there was an attack in Barcelona, Spain where a driver drove into the crowd on La Rambla street. My friends and I were spending our vacation traveling in Spain, specifically Madrid when the attack in Barcelona on La Rambla street occurred. We were so worried about the people there including ourselves since Barcelona was our next destination. We had family and friends contacting us to make sure we were okay, several of my coworkers were worried, texting and messaging me to see if I was okay. Being in Spain during this time was something that brought on a lot of self-reflection.
As a girl who grew up in a military family, I have always known that we live in a world that is constantly fighting and that there is a world of bad and good. Although, hearing about terrorist attacks all over the world seems to be a common thing these days which I feel shouldn’t be. You think with how advanced our world is moving that the hate and judgment would no longer be something that holds us back from progressing as human beings.
Being in a country that had recently been attacked was a surreal experience. Even though I grew up in the time frame during 9-11 which was the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States, this was something for all of us that was difficult to fathom. Who would want to attack this beautiful city and their people? Although we had a good trip, it was difficult to connect with the people of Barcelona since most of them were mourning the loss of their people and what had happened.
Prior to visiting Barcelona, we had many of our friends and families telling us we shouldn’t go to Barcelona or that we need to go home. Nonetheless, this can happen anywhere in the world and we shouldn’t be living in fear. The more we fear it, the more power we give to the people harming us.
As we continued our journey to Barcelona, we saw the hurt, the sadness, and mourning of the people of Barcelona. Barcelona truly has a big heart ❤ The people of Barcelona, were creating large memorials for the people who were harmed by bringing by tons of red lit candles, lots of red and white flowers and even more. We saw people praying and posting signs. What hurt the most was watching many of the Muslims living in Barcelona marching down the streets of La Rambla saying in Spanish “El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido” which means “the town that’s united will never be defeated”. This movement brought me to tears. Especially when I saw kids, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, and families alike united who needed to say we are Muslim but we are not terrorists.