A date that resonates with all Londoners. A date packed with memories of a fateful day – a day of tragedy, of loss, of bravery, courage and motivation. A day on which we should pay respects to those lost in the awful tube bombings on this date, back in 2005, and the families and friends who still suffer.
It’s a date I remember with stunning clarity. I was in Greece, away with friends, resting before one of many post hit-and-run operations. I called to speak with my beautiful friend back home, who’s birthday it is, and heard the heart-breaking news.
Everything happened in slow motion, from then. Time stopped as we all reached for mobile phones and tried to get through to people we knew, who would certainly have been on those tubes or in affected areas that day. News spread round the pool as fellow travellers tried to reach their loved ones. Phone lines were down, we couldn’t get through. There was a feeling of helplessness, of guilt for being so far away, of sadness. We had no real information, just rumour and hearsay. It was horrible for us, over there. Until one by one, we received confirmation that our people were OK…and for us, that was enough. Although shocked and dismayed at the situation, we were detached. Safe. Able to selfishly continue with our day. Lucky.
Not so easy, though, for the terrified people in the eye of the storm. I cannot begin to imagine how scared those thousands of commuters must have been, trapped in those tunnels, surrounded by others, but feeling so alone. They will have felt, and witnessed things that no person should ever have to see. Living a nightmare, faced with a situation we all knew was possible but never dreamt would actually happen. This sickening reality, unfolding before their eyes.
So very sad.
But also, how inspirational are the stories of that day? How incredible were the tube workers, the fire fighters, the civilians who put their personal safety second to that of the injured and traumatised?
In the face of tragedy, heroes emerged and saved lives. From the smallest act of kindness, such as holding an injured persons hand as they waited for help, to the largest scale rescue operation, it makes me realise how wonderful Human Beings can be.
7/7 has gone down in history as a day of complete extremes. From the most soulless act of terrorism and evil, emerged true heart, courage and strength.
My thoughts go out to everyone who was, and still is affected on this terrible anniversary. But my thanks, too, to every person who helped, who offered kindness to strangers, who gave a hug, lent a hand, proffered support, encouragement and strength when people needed it most.
I take a lot of inspiration from people who can act with such amazing character when things go so horribly wrong.
I just wish we could all be as kind, and good, and supportive to each other in every day life. It shouldn’t take a tragedy to make us good people.
Let’s start being better to each other, all the time. From a simple smile on the tube, to holding a door open, to running an errand for someone who isn’t able or just offering your time and care to someone who needs it, rather than being too busy.
Too many people lost lives on this date. Let’s honour them, by adding value and joy to those who are still here. Practice random acts of kindness, people. Don’t wait for the big stuff.
Start now. Make the 7th July a day to remember, for all the right reasons. Be incredible, and the best version of you that you can be.
The world will be a nicer place for it.
I send my love to everyone who survived this fateful day, and my heart breaks for anyone who lost someone they love. RIP, beauties x