Last night’s terror attack in our Capital has left me shaken to the core.
Every attack leaves me emotional, of course. Every time I hear of a lost life, here, or in other countries, I’m overwhelmed by sadness. But yesterday hit a little closer to home. For the first time, I was only a few minutes away when it happened. And the thought that it could have been us? That they could have walked in to the pub we were in? That I might never have made it home to my son?
I’m a Hertfordshire girl now – but for the first time in a while, I was out in London yesterday. It was a friend’s 30th, and we spent the day eating and drinking our way around the city, wandering from bar to bar. It was fantastic to be back in the buzzing, vibrant town I love so much – but as we stepped off the train and my friend and I declared how much me missed living there, I said…
“I have a slightly uneasy feeling. Like it’s not safe”.
And then we forgot about it and got back to the serious business of having fun.
Which is exactly what the people in the bars and pubs around London Bridge and Borough Market were doing. People enjoying their weekend, spending time with family and friends. Trusting it would be like every other day. Trusting they would be home in their own beds later that night. Never for a moment thinking it wouldn’t be OK.
For a small group of people to try to take that freedom, that carefree spirit away? For 7 people to have lost their lives? It’s incomprehensible.
I won’t ever look up the Terrorists names. And I will never call them Muslims. Because they’re not. They are simply terrorists. The Muslim community condemn these actions. More Muslims die in terror attacks around the world than any other. Muslims in Manchester have refused to bury the suicide bomber responsible for the Manchester deaths last week. Muslims are not to blame. Terrorists are.
And this is what I’m so, so proud of in all of this. My social media timelines – which a couple of years ago would have been full of hate, and extremist opinions, and bigotry, brought on by fear – are full of love, and kindness, and support, and togetherness. People are starting to understand that this isn’t about hating a whole religion, because of the actions of a few.
So, despite everything…they’re losing. The people who want to divide us, to separate us, to lead us to hate each other and fight between ourselves, are losing. Because we’re coming together. We’re digging in, holding hands, spreading kindness. We’re praising the Police and the other Emergency Services, the Doctors and Nurses, the Taxi Drivers, the Heroes amongst the general public who defended others, or ran to help. Regardless of Religion.
Something needs to be done to rid our country of this evil. Action must be taken to stop anyone with links to terror having the chance to hurt us. We all agree on that. But until our Politicians can get off their campaign trail and start to think of real solutions, we will stand together, united against this hatred. We will continue to go out, and live our lives, and laugh, and enjoy this incredible city – and those like it.
So, hug your friends. Kiss your children. Say thank you to the next police officer you see and take a moment to appreciate the danger they go through to protect us.
And then…pick yourself up, enjoy the people around you and go out there and do whatever you want to do.
This is our city. Our Capital.
Don’t let them win.
Love, London x