Two New York City siblings were among the 35 people killed in last week’s terror attacks in Brussels. Alexander, 29, and Sascha, 26, Pinczowski were Dutch nationals on their way home to Manhattan from the Brussels Airport on Tuesday when two explosions went off.
Justin and Stephanie Schultz, an American couple living in Belgium, were also killed. More than 300 people were injured.
A relative of the Pinczowskis said they were on the phone with their mother when she heard a blast and the call disconnected.
Sascha was a 2015 graduate of Marymount Manhattan College and received a degree in business. Alexander was engaged to Cameron Cain, the daughter of James Cain, the former ambassador to Denmark. The two were reportedly visiting family in the area when they were killed. The siblings had hoped to earn their U.S. citizenship one day.
After a Friday meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, Secretary of State John Kerry said the “United States is praying and grieving with you for the loved ones of those cruelly taken from us, including Americans, and for the many who were injured in these despicable attacks.”
Responding to the attacks, the New York Police Department ramped up security across the city, particularly at transit hubs and major landmarks. Members of the National Guard stood attentive at the John F. Kennedy International Airport while officers patrolled Grand Central Terminal and the Times Square station.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio said New Yorkers must take a stand against terrorism and not allow terrorists to control their daily lives.
“These tragedies seem very far away. Falsely, we feel safe, then we learn that people from our community are among the dead, among the injured,” said Ari Goldman, a professor at Columbia Journalism School who teaches a course on death and dying. “It drives the importance of stopping this kind of terrorism home. It shakes us all up; it makes us feel vulnerable.”