My thoughts are with all of those people who were affected by the Manchester attack this week.
Living in London as a child in the 80’s, I grew up in the times of the IRA bombings. I was always taught to be vigilant. Usually in the East End, if someone left a bag or package somewhere it would have been snapped up and you would never see it again, but times were different and anything like this was now seen as suspicious.
When I first started working in London at 19, having moved to Essex 5 years ago. My dad, who works in public transport, told me of a code they had at the station to alert staff of a suspect package and that if I was to hear this, I was to leave the station. Even though the IRA bombings had long stopped, I was aware that there were still threats around us.
15 years on and still everyday I listen out for the codes, I watch those around me and everyday I arrive into the London terminals wondering if something will happen today, its second nature to me now, it doesn’t interfere with my day, or my life for that matter.
This morning, after the terror alert had been risen to severe, my thoughts on my journey were no different, if anything I felt safer. I looked around me and saw everyone carrying on and getting on with their day. Everyone still barging past each other and walking so fast the soles of their shoes would probably be worn by the time they got to the office. I felt a huge surge of pride & gratitude, so much so that I wanted to hug all the police outside St Paul’s Cathedral but I didn’t think that was very appropriate. I felt truly grateful that there are people out there willing to put their lives at risk to ensure we are all safe. How amazing that we British, with our funny little ways, when it comes to it, will ALWAYS stand together. I am so very proud.