Over this past weekend, we had a field trip to Belfast, United Kingdom. Before going to Belfast, I had a vague idea of what had been going on in this city for the past couple of decades. However, I was not expected for the horrific sights I would see and chilling stories I would hear about what had gone on there. After two tours from two people with different perspectives on the injustice that went on in Belfast, I couldn’t believe that I was so unaware of it. Though it may be unfair to compare the tragedies in Belfast to those in 9/11, I feel as if the terrorism in Belfast was swept under the rug by the rest of the world, where as almost everyone knows about the horrific events of 9/11. I kept asking myself, “Why was I so unaware of this?”
To be completely honest, I knew very little about the constant battle between loyalists and nationalists. After my visit to Belfast, I feel extremely educated on the history of it. One of the most chilling parts of my visit was when one of our tour guides told us about a bombing in a local fish market that killed nine people, one of which was a seven year old girl, an innocent child. This was only a few years ago, a violent act of terrorism. And here I was, completely unaware of these horrific acts. I was dumbfounded that 40-foot walls still stood between neighborhoods, and in some neighborhoods, they are kept in their house from 7pm at night to 7am the next morning.
The trip to Belfast was truly an eye opening experience, it helped me realize how so many injustices come and go unseen, and that although the people of Belfast have come a long way in a short period of time, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. Even though I don’t personally know anyone from Belfast, I hope that they come to peace soon, and can all live as civilized people.