WASHINGTON — Since Tuesday’s terror attacks in Brussels, the Belgian Embassy has seen a steady stream of Belgian nationals, Americans, diplomats and public officials offering sympathy and solidarity.
Through Friday, more than 100 people had stepped through the embassy doors in Northwest Washington to offer written and spoken condolences, according to Belgian diplomatic officials.
Visitors also placed flowers and candles at a makeshift memorial outside the embassy.
“We are struck by the overwhelming sympathy,” Belgian Embassy Counselor Karl Lagatie said in an interview with Capital News Service. “We appreciate not only the warmth from the official side, but the compassion from the regular people.”
More than 50 people visited entered the embassy just on Thursday. Ambassadors and representatives from countries including China, Latvia, Togo and the Republic of Congo paid their respects. Later Thursday, ambassadors from each country in the European Union (EU) collectively came as a sign of solidarity with Belgium.
On Wednesday, the embassy received visits from Vice President Joe Biden, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who met with embassy officials to discuss future cooperation on security.
“It’s great and important that we all stand united against terrorism,” said Lagatie. “We are very grateful for the support.”
Brussels, the Belgian capital, was struck Tuesday by suicide bomb attacks at Zaventem Airport and the Maelbeek subway station near the EU and European Commission Headquarters. Thirty-one were killed and more than 300 were injured.
Johan Verbeke, Belgium’s ambassador to the United States, said in a statement Tuesday: “What we need now is to show our unity and resolve to defend our common values. We will not give in to fear and are determined to face this situation with strength and resilience.”