Cites from Rome to New York, from Paris to Montreal bathed their iconic buildings in the colors of the Belgian flag, following Tuesday's deadly terrorist attack in Brussels to show solidarity with the people there.
San Francisco was no different. City Hall and San Francisco International Airport were bathed in black, yellow and red lights.
The lights cast a patriotic glow on the many vigils around the globe held for the 31 dead and more than 270 injured with the attackers set off bombs at the Belgian airport and subway during the early morning Tuesday commute. Belgium began three days of mourning to honor all those who suffered. On Wednesday, Belgian prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw identified two of the Brussels attackers as brothers — Ibrahim El Bakraoui, a suicide bomber at the airport, and Khalid El Bakraoui, who targeted the subway.
On Tuesday night, hundreds of people gathered outside San Francisco City Hall and held a moment of silence. Then, a group of Belgium scouts sang their national anthem.
Belgian native Liesbeth Dewaele, who now lives in Walnut Creek, said a former co-worker was injured in the explosions. She brought her children to the somber event to color signs and show the Belgians there are people around the world who care about them.
"I hope they won't throw bombs any more in Belgium," said her 7-year-old son, Seth.
Belgian-turned-San Franciscan Corine De Hemptinne said she came to the vigil to be with her community, and was feeling "a lot of grief."
That was a sentiment echoed by all in the crowd, including John Vanloo, who added that together, everyone must "stand strong and hold each other's hand."