Thursday, July 21, 2005

Keeping an eye on London

Very disconcerting to learn this morning of more attacks in London.

One of my first thoughts was, how terribly demoralizing for Londoners. I feel for them.

I'm a person who never really feared things like public transportation, air travel, etc. It was just a part of life, and I blithely trusted that everything was going to be OK.

9/11 changed that, but I got back on an airplane and have flown many times since. Yes, I always say a prayer for safety as soon as my rear hits the airplane seat, but I'm not an idiot--I know bad things can and do happen.

And that 15-minute incident I lived through in Washington, D.C. in May really affected me. As I've said before, although it turned out to be just a scare and not terrorism at all, we didn't know that at the time we were running off the Capitol grounds.

Notwithstanding, I wasn't afraid to hop on a train from New Jersey to Manhattan the very next night. But when the train lost power and we sat for several minutes in a tunnel with no explanation, I almost started to panic--and I'm sure it was because I was, psychologically and emotionally, still feeling the effects of the incident in D.C.

So I have at least a tiny inkling of what it's like for those London residents. I'm sure they've just started to regain their confidence in a normal routine of life--and now they're hit with this. It's got to be nerve-racking at the least, and terrifying at the worst.

While surfing BlogExplosion not long after the London incident two weeks ago, I actually read a London blogger whose attitude was "Hey, Americans, we don't need your pity or your prayers." The gist of it was that she was actually annoyed by the expressions of solidarity and compassion she'd read in US blogs in response to the incident. She went on to say that our shock and compassion was misplaced, because Londoners have dealt with terrorism just fine for many years (the IRA, etc.)

My first, knee-jerk reaction was to think, "Well, excuse us for being caring and concerned!" But I can't believe that all Londoners are like that blogger.

When Americans were dealing with 9/11, we deeply appreciated the expressions of concern from other nations.

Maybe Britishers have such a stiff upper lip, they don't need our compassion. But I don't really think so. So I'm extending it once again: London, you're in my thoughts and prayers. Whether you want to be or not.

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