Anniversary of a terrorist attack
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02-08-2011, 03:49 PM
Anniversary of a terrorist attack
On August 2nd 1980 a bomb exploded in the Bologna (Italy) train station, killing 85 and injuring 200. To this day, nobody really knows who's responsible for the attack. If you don't know about this incident, see

The reason I am bringing your attention to this is that I was there that day. My sister and I had spent some time with my grandparents and we were all taking the train back to my parents. I was 7 years old at the time. We were early for our train, so we went in the economy waiting room. There is one thing I distinctly remember. A man walked in. It was hot that day, close to 100 degrees, but he was wearing a coat. He had a sports sack with him. I remember noticing him because of the coat, and because he looked very nervous. He kept getting up, walking around, then sit down again. Then he left. I asked my grandma if we should go after him and tell him he had forgotten his bag. She told me it was ok, he probably had just gone to the restroom. If you know anything about how widespread petty criminality is in Italy, you'd find the idea of leaving your bad unattended to go to the bathroom pretty preposterous, but I was a kid and my grandma was always right, and this was long before 9/11. The train arrived, we got on and left. It was the last train that left the station before the bomb went off. When we got to our destination, we didn't know of the attack. I can remember to this day my dad coming to meet us, his face white as a sheet. Until the moment he saw us in the flesh, he hadn't know if, in the same day, he had lost both his kids and both his parents. I have never seen my father that way and never saw him that way again. We didn't talk much about it afterwards. When I mentioned the guy in the coat to my mom she told me to shut up and never bring it up again. Forensics established the bomb had been in some kind of canvas bag. Later some people were arrested for the attack. I saw them on TV and none of them looked familiar. But I was a kid therefore I must have been wrong or imagined the whole thing. Later they were all found not guilty. To this day I don't know if my memories of the man in the coat and the sports bag are some hazy mix of childhood memories and imagination.
There is a plaque now, in the new and rebuilt station, with the name of the victims. When I am in Bologna I always go to see it. I run through the names in alphabetical order, right where my name could have been.
Every year I try to tell at least one person about what happened there. I don't know why. It's my way of remembering all who died. And to appreciate that I didn't.
Thank you for reading this.

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
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