Wednesday, 7 July 2010

I < 3 London

Five years ago today I witnessed the aftermath of the terrorist attacks by four poor misguided fools on three London Underground tubes and a bus. Fifty-two innocent people died along with the four misguided fools and many people's lives where altered irrevocably. It was the most terrifying day of my life. While I, my friends and my family were unharmed some friends of friends died and the whole thing was very local and was very personal.

While I have mostly come to terms with what I saw that day the anniversary of the bombings unsettles me and occasionally creates flashbacks. I'm aware of this and can handle it but still mark the occasion in some small way.

I decided to mark the five year anniversary by visiting the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park.

7/7 Memorial, Hyde Park

The memorial itself is a calm tribute to those who died on that awful day. After looking at the flowers which had been left by relatives of those who died I sat on the little slope behind the memorial where I could hear the hustle and bustle of London behind me. A few other people came to look at the memorial while the film crews prepared and waited for the 6pm news to begin.

News Crews

The thing that struck me walking in and around the park is how fun London is. It was 5:30pm. People were coming out of work, enjoying the sunshine or were on holiday taking in the sights. I went past giggling young women, sweaty joggers, sleek cyclists, stuffy business types, happy and bewildered looking tourists and a school trip of teenagers all wearing magnificently fluorescent "I love London" hoodies. Those lurid, acid coloured garments expressed my feelings perfectly.

My bus route took me home past the buzzing theatres of the West End, Soho streets with their hidden secrets - both naughty and nice, delicious Chinatown, green squares, and people. Hundreds and thousands of bloody marvellous people.

Many things calm me when my mind is racing. One of them is that this vibrant city has survived world wars and plagues as well as terrorist attacks, and will no doubt face more in the future. The comfort is that London and her people can cope with it. It may be grim at times but we will cope,survive and go on to bigger and better things.

I always try to remember is life here is good. We have clean water, plenty of food, and most of us have a place to call home. Some of us are even luckier and have a hobby full of soft fibres and like minded people.

Life moves forward yet I will remember.

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