United we stand. London is calling, “we are not afraid”

Just over a week ago today, most of us started the day without a care in the world. Many of us probably pushed our way onto the busy tubes to make sure we made it into our workplaces for 9am. You may have even stomped across London by foot to get to your destination.

No one could have predicted how quickly a few hours can change the day completely.

It must be said, that our capital of the U.K. offers so much, not only for those who live and work here, or travel in for the day, but even more so for those who travel from overseas to see what our city and country offers, and experience London for themselves.

Last Wednesday affected every single one of the people above. Whether you were in the area, thinking about coming to London, or even if you had been to London in the past – there is no denying we all felt something. Feeling angered, upset, disturbed and disconcerted to name some, but there was also admiration, a bold statement, I know.

Terrorism is something we’ve all heard about, and not only have we heard about it, we’ve seen it happening worldwide. But when it happens on your home turf – your own stomping ground – of course we’re more emotionally attached to it.

Wednesday’s events were the second time I have experienced a terrorist attack in London. When growing up we had the IRA attacks, but back then the media didn’t focus or sensationalise as much as it does now. Regardless, it’s still not any easier to digest.

Back to the word “admiration”: one man decided to face the attack head on, putting his job role before his own personal roles as a father, husband, brother and son. A man who then lost his own life protecting us all and mainly those for whom he was providing security at the Palace of Westminster. He chose to stop this man for you, for me, for all of us, which led to him losing his own life.

Some may say the attacker, who also lost his life, got his “just desserts”, especially when you see the casualties on the bridge.

But something that we mustn’t take for granted, and this includes the police officer, is the amazing part our emergency services played in trying to help and contain the situation. The response is something you can never plan for, as it’s always unknown how big or small an attack could be. It is clear to say that the way in which our emergency services dealt with it showed courage, knowledge and immense bravery, they knew what had to be done. Behind the scenes, they’ve tested and practised this possible situation, never knowing if or when it could happen. We’ve been on red alert as a country for some time, so we’ve had this potential fear or risk on the agenda for a while.

I’m always so amazed and blown away by the incredible human acts of kindness that occur during these terrible situations such as in Westminster. For example, a fund for the family of the officer who lost his life has already raised over £670,000 and growing.

There has also been a march to show the world that Westminster bridge is open and London is open, which happened just after 24 hours after the attack. The message needed to be made that we stay calm and we carry on.

Our biggest message of all being that we are not afraid. There have been some great pieces written to emphasise that we shall not be beaten or scared by these types of acts, whilst broadcasting to the world that no finger pointing or grouping faith can be in favour of these acts. Time Out showed this in their open letter on Instagram.

Time Out.JPG

At the weekend, Muslim men and women lined the bridge to show their stand against terrorism and condemning the attacks.

The British public have a way of picking themselves up, dusting themselves down, and making a statement. There is no right or wrong way to react, or be, after something like this happens, but one thing that is clear is that London has spoken and so have the British public. We are mightier together, and we stand together united; we are not afraid!

Ryan Curtis-Johnson

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