King Philippe of Belgium makes a heartfelt Christmas speech in hope of rekindling community spirits.
The speech comes after a devastating timeline of terrorist attacks in Europe. The King refers to one particular attack, the bombings at Zaventem international airport in Brussels.
King Philippe said: “For many of us the Christmas and New Year celebrations are a time of happiness. The illuminated streets and squares create a festive atmosphere.”
He added: “Unfortunately this is not for everyone. For many, these are difficult days. I am thinking of those who are alone, those who are sick, those who bear heavy burdens. I think of all those who lost a loved one. And this year in particular to the victims of the attacks in Brussels and Zaventem, and to their relatives.”
The explosion left over 30 people dead.
Earlier this week Berlin suffered a terrifying terrorist attack. A lorry struck it’s way through crowds of people at the Berlin Christmas market. The horrific attack comes just months after the barbaric bombing in Brussels international airport.
In his speech the King underlines the importance of a community working together so that people do not “remain on the margins of society.”
He says: “I want to send you today a message of hope. Throughout the country, the queen and I are impressed by remarkable projects in which citizens are involved and who motivate others to become involved.”
“I see men and women who dare to interact with sincerity and truth. I felt this on my recent visit to a home that provides a family environment for adults with mental disabilities. To meet without prejudice and tenderness, to recognise the frailties of the other at the same time as their own. I was shattered by the energy that it releases in itself. Sweetness is a force.”
“I also see many examples of solidarity and generosity. In holiday camps that give their smile to children who are victims of mistreatment and harassment. In projects that bring together people of different generations and origins. Many do not hesitate to sacrifice their comfort to get closer to the other.”
“I see finally many young and old who have understood that to succeed, one must have the courage to start over. They refuse to remain on the margins of society. They do not resign themselves. They understand that to succeed is also to want the success of the other and to accept this help.”
King Philippe says: “All these examples express the will to build a society where one sustains one another.” He wants the nation to recognise that “a more cordial society is within our reach” and hopes that citizens can rekindle a confidence in democracy.
“The Queen and I and all our family wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”