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Belgian in KC: 'No one is safe anymore'

Posted at 4:01 PM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 18:08:18-04

It's the middle-of-the-night phone call anyone would dread. At 2:00 Tuesday morning, texts came pouring in to Zoé Hommertzheim's phone.

"I started to receive texts and I thought, 'Wow, what's happening?' So I started to read and I was shocked and couldn't go back to sleep," explained Belgian-born Hommertzheim. While she was raised Mons, a city 40 miles south of Brussels, today she lives in Kansas City with her husband and son where she owns a local French language school.
 

 

Zoé's hometown of Mons is 40 minutes south of Brussels.

 
By afternoon, she learned no one in her close circle of loved was hurt in the attacks.
 
"I was shocked about what happened in Paris because it is so close to me," she said. "But this is happening again, and why? With everything that has happened, you don't feel safe in your country anymore."

That's what bothers her the most. While Kansas City is 4,500 miles away from Brussels, the attacks still hit too close to home. 

"Everybody feels connected, you can relate to - it could be me, it could be my family, it could be my friends," she said. "When I left six years ago, I didn't feel there was such a  threat all the time. Now I feel like no one is safe over there anymore."

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Terra Hall can be reached at terra.hall@kshb.com.

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