A sombre King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, along with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and other ministers, lined up quietly outside the renovated Zaventem Airport to mark the exact time when two suicide bombers killed 16 people and wounded many more at the site.
During the airport ceremony, a woman clutched white roses as Eddy Van Calster, the brother of airport checkin agent Fabienne Van Steenkiste, who was killed in the attack, played a rock ballad in tribute.
As hundreds of people including victims’ family members and rescue workers looked on, an airport official read out all of the names of all of the victims. “March 22 2016, will forever be in our hearts; we stand here united,” the official said.
The royals will lead a second moment of silence at Maalbeek subway station to mark the moment a third suicide bomber killed another 16 people on a crowded train. More than 320 people were wounded in both attacks. A year on, Belgium remains on high alert with troops patrolling the streets and warnings of fresh risks from Islamic State jihadists returning home from Iraq and Syria.