S'pore can learn from German unity

I was at the Christmas market in Berlin the night before the terror attack, and felt the warmth of both locals and tourists during the festive period ("Joy, then horror as truck hits revellers in Berlin"; Dec 21, 2016).

When I heard about the attack, I went back to the market to pay my respects.

I saw candles, flowers and a sign that read "We are strong, we are together, we stand as one".

The resolve of the people of Germany to stay united in the aftermath of a gruesome attack touched me.

It certainly would not have been easy for Germans to come to terms with the tragedy, especially because it had to do with their country's open-door policy for refugees.

I am impressed that they refused to say they are "at war" because of what had happened ("'We're not at war', stoic Germans say after Berlin attack"; ST Online, Dec 23, 2016).

I hope Singaporeans will learn from the Germans that despite a terrorist attack, all the different races and religions are willing to come together and stay unified, regardless of the attacker's race or religion.

Beatrice Lim Wen Xuan,15,

Secondary 3 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore can learn from German unity'. Print Edition | Subscribe