Belgian Club founder shocked by Brussels attack

Posted at 3:20 PM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 15:56:06-04

Belgians across South Florida are reacting to today's terrorist attacks in Brussels.

The founder of the Belgian Club of Florida told us he's "in shock." Marc de Vlieger said he had a bad feeling something like this would happen, but actually seeing it is hard to swallow.

He is glued to the television.

"We don't know how to react to this, we don't know what's going to be next," he said.

De Vlieger was born in Belgium. Most of his family still lives there. He's been able to contact his father who says the family is safe.

All morning, he's been watching Flemish news reports out of Belgium, waiting for new information.

Outlets flash scenes of chaos at the Brussels airport, just 70 miles away from where he grew up.

"They hit the heart of Europe," de Vlieger said.

He's lived in the United States for more than 30 years, currently living in Coral Springs.

He believes Belgium might have been an easy target for terrorists.

"I think what is happening now is that because we're so nice, it's too easy for the criminals to move in," he explained.

He says Americans may not know much about Belgium besides beer and chocolate, but it's time for the world to rally behind the country.

"Who is going to be the next peacemaker on this planet? Because we need peace," de Vlieger said.

For now, he'll keep a candle burning to honor the victims and show support for the place still deep in his heart.

"When I'm home, it's my first and last thing I look at," he pointed out.