Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Today is the 5-year anniversary of 11-M, the terrorist attacks in the Madrid Train Station, Atocha. 11-M consisted of a series of coordinated bombings in Atocha, the center station of the Cercanías (commuter train) system of Madrid on the morning of 11 March 2004 (three days before Spain's general elections), killing 191 people and wounding 1,400. The official investigations determined that the attacks were directed by an al-Quaeda-inspired terrorist cell, but with no direct connections to al-Quaeda.

I remember hearing about the bombings five years ago, back in the United States, but I was a junior in high school and had not even started studying Spanish, so I never dreamed I would be studying abroad in Madrid, or even Spain. And now, here I am! It was very humbling though, as I use the Cercanías every day to commute to the my university, which is in a southern suburb of Madrid. My station is one stop north of Atocha, and I go through Atocha everyday. The victims of attack are now very close to my heart.

On a lighter I bought my Ave (bullet train) ticket for Barcelona next weekend! The 19th of March is a holiday, so we have a four-day weekend!

And this weekend I'm headed to Roma!

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