Friday, July 07, 2006

Remembering 7/7

This blog is usually quite light-hearted, but I felt I couldn't let today pass without some comment.

This time a year ago I was on a school trip with no 2. We had set off to a nature reserve not far from home, and the talk among the mums was of how fantastic it was that we had won the Olympics.

I had forgotten to take my mobile and had made rather a complicated arrangement with my then nanny to pick no 4 up from nursery. Wanting to check that she had got into the house ok, I rang home at 11.30, which was the first I heard about the trouble in London. I can't say I was surprised - something was bound to happen sooner or later, and I think it is only by the grace of the security services that we haven't had more attacks - but I was shocked. I have lived in London most of my life, growing up with the threat of terrorism from the IRA, but this, this felt different. Bombs in the underground must be everyone's worst nightmare, and a year on, all I can think is how lucky it was that more people weren't killed, although, of course, every person who died is one too many.

My nanny's second words were, You're sister's ok. As the sister in question lives in Derbyshire and I hadn't known she was even in London, so it was a bit of a shock. It took me all day to track her down, but at least I knew she was safe.

I was the first to hear about the bombs, so discreetly told the teacher who rang the school. At lunchtime the adults huddled together in subdued groups, ringing husbands to check where they were. Living so close to London, everyone had someone who could potentially be caught up in the day's events. But fortunately, we were all among the lucky ones.

On 9/11 I watched the whole thing unfold, which was horrid and ghastly, but at least I knew what was happening. Being stuck in a wood with a bunch of seven year olds and knowing nothing was worse.

We got back to the playground eventually, by which time I was clocking all the people I could possibly think of who could have been in London that day, and thankfully, I saw most of them at school. I couldn't believe what difference a day could make. We had been so elated about the Olympics and now people were shocked, frightened, worried.

Even on the very fringes - my sister was at Liverpool Street and chucked off a mainline train just before one of the bombs went off - it was a scary and terrifying experience. And unfortunately, though my instincts are usually to stick two fingers up at the cowardly bastards who do this kind of thing, I did find myself avoiding London last summer. Had I been working there I would have had to go in, but risk my children? I don't think so.

A year on, and we seem no nearer to solving the problems that seem to breed this kind of unreasoning brutality. Sometimes I wonder if we ever will.

But we should always remember those who died, and work towards building bridges in our communities, so the actions of the few don't scar the lives of the many. And so that the victims haven't died in vain.

1 comment:

TX Runner Girl said...

Very sad! Many prayers to the friends and families of those who perished.