Some people (like the mayor of London… ahem!) seem to think that living in a place like London means that you should expect terror attacks. Needless to say, I do think there’s a certain amount of vigilance that comes from living in the capital city – like any big city I guess. But underneath the hard exterior and the vigilance, for most people there is a deep love of their city and a deep sense of protection.
I moved to London ten years ago. After the July 7th bombings and before the murder in Woolwich. London is a special place to me. It’s the place I met my wife, the place I met most of my friends and the place where we brought our daughter into the world. In fact, our postnatal room had a view over the river to the Houses of Parliament and I showed Eden when she was less than 24 hours old. This is her city. This is where she was made and where she will grow. London is a part of her, just as it Is a part of me.
I am devastated by what happened today. I am devestated that somebody, for whatever reason, attacked my beautiful city and people in it. Someone took it upon themselves to violate the city that means so much to so many. I’m devestated that innocent people were killed. I’m devestated that a member of our police force died on the job today.
This is the thing about Londoners, though. These attacksrs always think they have won, but they never will. London has stood tall through two world wars, has worked through the IRA attacks, the 7/7 terrorist attacks, the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich and countless other things that should have brought us to our knees.
But London is a part of us all. London is a part of every breath we take and shapes the way we live our lives. And London is strong. Londoners are strong. Londoners “keep calm and carry on”. They give first aid to people while they wait for an ambulance. They carry injured people from trains and try to reason with terrorists in front of the person that they have just killed in the middle of a busy street. Londoners hold the hand of someone they’ve never met before when things get bad. Londoners take to the streets and walk when the trains go down. Yeah, we bitch and moan about it, but we do it.
Today things sucked. Today we lost people. Today there was fear. But tomorrow, we will get up and go about our days. We will take our children out, we will go to the many attractions that London has to offer and we will pay over the odds for a damn good cup of coffee in a hipster coffee shop. We might even pass an A List celebrity on the street and not bat an eyelid. Because that’s what Londoners do.
Don’t mess with London. Because there’s no strong like London strong.