As has been frequently the case in previous terrorist attacks, Thursday’s deaths in Barcelona were of the world and not Spain only. That is not by accident. Most of the places that Islamic terrorists have targeted have been cosmopolitan cities and symbols of Western culture.
Las Ramblas, a series of streets in Barcelona, are typically crowded with tourists (about 80 million visit each year) and a has been a center of life within Barcelona for centuries. The streets there, often lined with trees, contain art museums, theaters, markets, and some of the world’s great architecture.
Thursday’s attack, in which a terrorist drove a rented van onto a pedestrian walkway, killed thirteen and injured at least eighty more. Hours later, an Audi in the resort town of Cambrils killed another person using similar tactics. Those killed or injured represented thirty-four countries.
Some of them lived in Barcelona, while others were on vacation there. All of their lives were precious.
Elke Vanbockrijck, Belgium
The only Belgian victim, 44, was on vacation with her husband and two children. For one of those children, it was a dream come true because he was going to see the stadium where his hero, soccer player Lionel Messi, played.
Jared Tucker, United States
The 43-year-old American was celebrating his first anniversary with his wife. At a restaurant, he got up from the table to use the restroom one minute before the attack occurred. He never came back.
Luca Russo, Italy
The twenty-five-year-old was visiting with his girlfriend. He had graduated from college only a year earlier.
Bruno Gulotta, Italy
The Italian thirty-five-year-old computer programmer from Italy was walking alongside his family when he was run over.
Francisco López Rodríguez and Xavi, Spain
The fifty-seven-year-old from Granada was a factory worker who came to Barcelona in the 1960s. His three-year-old grandson died next to him after falling off a cart and banging his head on the van.
Ian Moore Wilson, Canada
Traveling to Barcelona, Canadian Ian Moore Wilson often liked exploring new places.
Ana María Suárez, Spain
Ana Maria Suarez, from Saragossa, lost her life in the Cambrils attack. She was walking along the Paseo Marítimo with her husband, Roque Oriol, and her sister, Alicia Suárez, who are both still hospitalized.
Silvina Alejandra Pereyra, Spain
The forty-year-old Spanish-Argentinian woman had lived in Barcelona for more than ten years before she was murdered on Thursday.