Words don’t — can’t — suitably express my feelings about the actions of Thursday. This is the second time a tragedy has struck the world while I was in Scotland. The first time I was standing in the parking lot of Edinburgh Castle when the pop radio station that the ice-cream seller was listening to cut out and made an emergency announcement, saying that a plane had crashed into “a building” in New York. It was a sunny day in September of 2001.
That day was terrifying, but Thursday was no less for me. At one point there were reports of 8 different bombs having gone off within seconds of each other . . . a level of organization truly horrifying to me. I was scared for the people of London, but for myself too. Just like Americans did after 9/11, everyone had a reason why their homes might be the next target. In our case, we live in the biggest city in Scotland. It has the most options for targets with high potential for body count and let’s not forget that the landmark G8 conference was happening only about 60 miles away . . . talk about an anti-West statement just waiting to be made.
But we’re OK, at least for the moment. The same perhaps could not be said for London, though I am nothing short of awestruck with the grace in which they have handled this. Granted, they grew used to bombs going off in the 70s and again in the early 90s, but they were still amazing in this case. Hell, much of the medical aid which was given to the victims was from hospital staff who, rather than waiting for the bodies to be brought to them, left the hospitals at a run so that they could help everyone they could on site. That’s dedication!
That’s all I’ve got for this. I’m still disgusted by the acts and wish I could say something new and original about it all. I guess I’ve spent too much time studying chivalry, but I’m still stuck on the whole “civilians are to be left alone” mindset. I don’t see it as honourable or even terribly effective to target civilians like this. All it has done is to kill 50 or so innocent people and absolutely enrage the rest of the population. Is that what they really wanted out of all this?
Eh. Who knows? Who can know? Before I sign off, I want to thank two people. Spencer was his usual self and had read the news and was getting ready to call me (at great expense to himself) when he got my assurance that I was OK. That’s pretty normal but I totally appreciate his concern. Out of left field though was the e-mail I got from my old friend from Aberdeen, Anne Peters, who wanted to make sure I wasn’t in London on holiday. The ironic part is that I was in fact thinking of going down this week to decompress after my marathon essay writing but nixed the idea because of money concerns. Nonetheless, I wanted to thank Anne for her concern. Take care everyone, and take care of everyone else too!
“Be excellent to each other.”
~Alex Winter (as Bill S. Preston, Esq.) – “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”