It was Tuesday when a peaceful Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, woke up to the deafening sound of three explosions that targeted public places. Two of them hit Zaventem airport at about 07:00 GMT, and one struck Maelbeek metro station an hour later.
As the reports came in about the attacks and photos of injured made the rounds of social media, people around the world took to Twitter to share another type of image: one that showed their support for the victims and offered a ray of hope. Even in this tragic time, as fear spread through the European Union and the death toll rose steadily, it was this sense of solidarity that shone brightest on the microblogging site.
Belgium's famous Manneken Pis which is the landmark statue of a naked boy urinating in a fountain also found its way into the cartoons. It was the image shared often on social media
— Cel (@CelVinel) March 22, 2016
Another user posted a sarcastic image with close resemblance to the same landmark of Manneken Pis to show her support for Brussels.
But among the illustrations that were shared to show support for Belgium, most carried Tintin, a famous Belgian cartoon character, in tears. One read 'Belgium weeps for her children'
A user on Twitter shared a minimalist image of an eye shedding tears, with each drop representing one colour of Belgium's national flag.
— Kiki_Paris (@Chiarakar) March 22, 2016
Another user shared an illustration that read 'Thoughts for Brussels" in French. The text was set against a backdrop of tears and a heart, with the colour theme similar to that of Belgium's national flag.
A French cartoonist named Plantu posted a cartoon that showed the national flags of French and Belgium grieving together. France's capital city, Paris, suffered a series of terror attacks on 13 November, 2015.
LES ATTENTATS CE MARDI 22 MARS À BRUXELLES.
(Le dessin du Monde) pic.twitter.com/9OCYMhOCpf
— PLANTU (@plantu) March 22, 2016
An image of the European Union's flag with one of the stars turned into a teardrop also found its way on Twitter. EU's headquarters are located in Brussels and the city is considered the defacto capital of the union.
Another picture showed the Belgium flag with three bullet holes covered with band-aid.
No doubt, the clear message is that the world stands with Brussels in its time of sorrow.