My abiding memory of 7/7 is of the silence. I was at home, around 3 miles from Edgware Road tube where one of the first bombs went off. My mother was dying in hospital, my then toddler happily playing at her nursery school.
It was like walking in a forest and suddenly realising the birds had stopped singing. The ever-present background hum of traffic ceased and then the distant wail of sirens sliced through the air.
I tried my mobile. No signal. Turned on the TV to hear garbled reports of breaking news. There had been explosions on the Underground. On buses. People were hurt. Some were dead. Then the landline rang. Could I bring my daughter home? Her nursery school was being evacuated.
Two weeks later the bombers tried again, this time closer to home at Shepherd’s Bush. They failed in their attempt to kill and maim yet more innocent people and, when they realised what had happened, those same people spontaneously danced in the street outside the tube station.
That’s the image I prefer – people dancing in the street in defiance of terrorism. It goes on, of course, in Tunisia, Boston, Egypt…In London we live in a constant state of ‘high alert.’
But the bravery exhibited by the victims of 7/7 and all those other senseless attacks is testament to something invincible in the face of terrorism. The human spirit is astonishing. And it will always prevail.