Thursday, 23 March 2017

My city, my heart

We all knew it would happen one day, deep in our hearts we'd begun to consider it an inevitable part of modern life, 'when' not 'if' and a cold dread of waiting to see just how bad the final toll will be.

My heart aches for my city. I may not have lived there since 1995 but London will always and forever be my city; I learnt to count by stops on the Tube, to appreciate nature by time spent in the royal parks, to love history by regular trips to the museums, palace, tower. I lived and breathed the richness of our culture through my neighbours, classmates and family friends.

I've spent a fair amount of time in the Westminster corner of London. Long before my involvement in the Westminster Autism Commission I was familiar with the area, having spent many hours wandering the circuit of The Mall, Whitehall and Birdcage Walk. Its a part of London that gives me a deep sense of connection like no other, where I feel really at home amongst our wonderful history.

I don't need to 'hope' that London will heal and recover from this tragedy, I know it will. I know London and I know Londoners, this will hurt and it will resonate but it will not defeat, it will not divide. London does not cower, London does not flee, we put the kettle on and get on with life, we always have. The Blitz didn't defeat us, the IRA attacks of the 80s and 90s didn't defeat us, the 7/7 attacks in 2005 didn't defeat us. A single man with a car and a knife will not defeat us.

Yesterday I cried for my city, today I miss my city, tomorrow I will travel to my city. And for the rest of my life I will love and be proud of my city.


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