A trending topic on Twitter has been the hashtag #ÁnimoGalicia, a way of trying to encourage and cheer up the people of Galicia, where a tragic train accident took the lives of 80 people on Wednesday. An American woman is among the dead.
I visited the city back in 2010, and—though it rained constantly—found the city charming, beautiful, and thoroughly enchanting. It was one of my first big trips with Mario. How did we get there? By train, of course. Train travel has always seemed to me to be so secure. I’ve never felt anxiety, as I often do when taking off or landing on a plane. And so to see the images and no longer feel so secure makes me feel unsteady.
This tragedy has affected so many, taken so many from our midst. There are 80 people who will never get to celebrate the fiestas in Santiago, kiss their children or wives or husbands or mothers or fathers, complain about the train being late again. And then there are the relatives: the brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, cousins, aunts, uncles, boyfriends, girlfriends … they are left to mourn. Spain, as a nation, is mourning.
But Spain has a reason to hope too. Even amidst all the corruption and unemployment doom and gloom, good can be found: people lining up at 2 a.m. to give blood, locals who climbed into mangled train cars to do anything they could before the rescue workers arrived, the firefighters who worked all night long, doctors on their days off who volunteered to work … there are countless stories like these.