Day of infamy

TTers from London and around the world weigh in with their reactions to the terrorist attack.


Salon Staff
July 8, 2005 9:11PM (UTC)

News and the Media

Terrorist Attack in London

Little Cat - 05:41 a.m. Pacific Time - July 7, 2005 - #15 of 186

I live here in London. I first heard when my husband called me from work to tell me he was safe -- we don't have cable and it hadn't been on any of the basic channels yet.

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He goes through Kings Cross (one of the stations affected) every day on the way to work, and missed being in one of those trains by about 10 minutes, since he decided to go to work early today. I was supposed to be at the British Library to do some dissertation research, but decided to just read in the morning at home and go in the afternoon, which may have saved my life -- I get off at Kings Cross to go to the BL.

Right now it's a madhouse here. Even in northwest London, where I live, there are sirens wailing constantly. My husband doesn't know how he's going to get home -- he works in the city and may just end up walking for three hours.

Let me tell you, being here is bloody terrifying.

Phyl Good - 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time - July 7, 2005 - #58 of 187

We just had a big press conference here in Toronto, where a provincial minister and a couple of other officials were assuring Ontario that we have nothing to fear.

I wanted to throw the radio at the wall. This isn't about Ontario. I couldn't care less what's happening in Ontario today! I get the feeling they're actually trying to drum up fear here rather than assuage it.

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Milk of human kindness, all these people. I'm so sick of speeches and press releases during an emergency like this -- most of them from people who have nothing to do with the emergency. What I really want is press conferences about something -- from the people directly involved, who are either issuing instructions to be followed or giving people info on who to contact or where to go -- that sort of thing.

Aunt Snow - 10:39 a.m. Pacific Time - July 7, 2005 - #70 of 187

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It is terrible.

Although I think many who are talking about it in the media forget that in the '70s Londoners were regularly braced for bomb attacks. I recall when visiting there how difficult it was to find a place to throw trash, as all the trash bins had been removed from the streets for fear bombs would be concealed in them.

And many Londoners grew up with stories of the Blitz.

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And Londoners have also experienced some horrific underground accidents in recent years, as well.

The media seems to be rerunning the 9/11 meme of "We thought it couldn't happen here," as they did for New York. Well, it did happen in London, and within the memory of many people.

I don't want to detract from the seriousness of this, but I can't stand the laziness of the media.

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Harrybbb18 - 11:29 a.m. Pacific Time - July 7, 2005 - #101 of 190

This same thing happened to me on 9/11 in NYC. It didn't get real right away. I was writing all night and as I went to sleep, after 4 a.m. EST, is when I heard the news. There went any sleep. But I was in my mind, you know, not in my core?

So, it just hit me. It's not the number dead or the code orange or that I'm flying from NYC to L.A. (tomorrow, not tonight). It's that so-human panic that is below all politics and is terror. It took me a few years after 9/11 to stop thinking about it. Ironically, it was a German man talking about his daughter in London that got me to become totally stoic.

His 24-year-old daughter asked him to promise that they'd never be victims of bombs. He said, and you or I had to be there, "Honey, we live for now. There are no promises in this world." Something about that scene, which lives on as if from a film, got me totally off the jitters. So, I thought this wouldn't rumble my inner world, but of course, London being so close, so well like us, or what we read in English or where many here go, man. I vote for 1993, a very good year. Though where I'd really like to go is to the 1890s. Small towns, no techno-gizmos. This really sucks, and really makes all of us want to hide, that is: after finding our friends and relatives. Mine are in Oxford, perfectly safe.

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cherylkohler - 01:07 p.m. Pacific Time - July 7, 2005 - #136 of 178

I got up at sunrise after a very late night of drinking wine with a new friend, alternately disparaging America and trying to figure out what we could do to save it. I went outside in the already stifling Tucson dawn (it's been over 100 for 25 days in a row, 109 yesterday) to water the dying plants and maybe fend off a hangover. I felt uneasy and chalked it up to lack of sleep. I never watch morning television anymore, but of course I saw the headlines online and turned on CNN. I watched and mostly felt numb; things seemed so strangely calm in London while the American media prepared their LONDON TERROR multimedia packages and began their hysterical speculation. It wasn't five minutes before CNN began making it all about America, of course, and focusing on the remarkably uninspired and knee-jerk reaction of raising our mass transit color wheel to orange. My son called me and said he'd stayed in a hotel a block from Kings Crossing and been in the Tube during his first trip to London this year; of course that's the first thing I thought, too. How random and horrible and hopeless, wherever, whenever.

aalborg - 02:15 p.m. Pacific Time - July 7, 2005 - #146 of 178

I totally resent the place we have reached in this world society where we, the common, decent, hardworking average person is held hostage to world events because of the ineptitude of world leaders. All the crap that is going down is due to the greed, arrogance and ignorance of the people who get elected or put themselves in power in every country of this world. That we continue to let them put themselves first and us last is appalling. When did we get so stupid?

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The world leaders, and I use that term loosely, are all bleating the same message this few hours after the London bombings. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, etc., ad nauseam. How many more times do we have to listen to the same pat little speech? Then they continue on with the lying, the cheating and their total lack of regard for the citizens of whatever country they represent. And they wait for the next attack on the innocent and drag out the same platitudes and go through it all again. They don't give a damn about us at the end of the day. Pat the people on the head, look suitably distressed and then get back to the corruption that is at the very heart of their souls and which is destroying life for us.

It's all about personal/financial gain for themselves, families and friends. We don't matter at all. So we are forced to live in a world where this will continue. What we do to change it, is beyond me.

America has to stop electing madmen like Bush. Blair has to have the guts to say it's gone on long enough. He talks of the stoic nature of the Brits and the British life having meaning. Then act on it, Mr. Blair. Denmark and Italy have to say we're out of there. Our citizens are valuable human beings. Just as the Iraqi citizens are valuable human beings. This bombing today should be the motivation to stop the madness and try to restore some sanity to the world.

We should not have to sit on a forum like this and worry about, not only our families in London, but those families we don't know, in this crazy manmade hate-filled world. I am so angry today.

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Amy Aberdeen - 05:49 p.m. Pacific Time - July 7, 2005 - #166 of 180

I've been in a state all day, as all my cousins live in London and use Kings Cross, Paddington, etc., on a daily basis. Got word in the early afternoon that one lot were completely out of it, having just taken off on a sudden jaunt to Greece (lucky pigs in more way than one, bless them!) but that another cousin who works in the financial district had not been heard from. He finally checked in -- he was walking home. His cellphone wasn't working (apparently the circuits all got jammed) and he didn't want to wait in the long lines at the telephone kiosks. And being a Brit it took him ages to decide to "disturb" someone by knocking on a door to ask to use the telephone!

I feel as weary as if I'd been doing all that walking.

Posts of the week is an ongoing feature of Table Talk, Salon's vibrant community forum. Older posts of the week may be found here in TT. Want to join the discussion? Sign up here.

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