Why I was Not Silent at Noon
When the UK stood still for 2 minutes to remember 7/7 last year, I was still rushing around around like a house fly. Why didn’t I stop?
A good question, to which I have no satisfactory answer except that with my endless list of tasks and chores, I was too busy to stop long enough to remember to stop for 2 minutes to remember those who died and were affected by the events of 7/7. It sounds horrible I know, but because no-one else near me stopped, I didn’t think to either. I had intended on pausing sales on the shop floor at midday but my to do list and my memory dictated otherwise.
To be able to forget is something that some people will never be able to do, but as a Nation, is something we should never collectively do. To be able to forget history – vivid, painful, recent history, but history nonetheless – is a mistake too often made by individuals and Nations. History shapes what we are today and what we will be tomorrow, and should be remembered and considered in all decisions we make.
History frequently repeats itself – or at least attempts to – but that doesn’t mean we cant or shouldn’t be more prepared for it, that we should accept or agree with it, or view it as inevitable and unpreventable. The history of 9/11 repeated itself in 7/7, but were we more prepared than the US was?
It’s difficult to answer categorically because we can’t see the big picture, we don’t have all the information – what did MI5 already know? How many previous attempts have been thwarted? Were they really caught with their pants down or was it down to a small miscalculation by someone supposedly in the know?
What is clear, is what’s visible. Legislation. Police reports and press releases. Public opinion. Increased security and improved procedures. Have the lessons been learned this time round? Only time will tell.
I am not proud I failed to observe the 2 minutes silence, but I will not go to bed tonight worrying about it. There is a time and a place for remembrance and reflection – and today was undoubtedly one of them – but at the end of the day life goes on, and by continuing life to the full is the best way to remember. To remember those who died in tragedy and those who died fighting in wars, because in both cases they did not die in vain and shall never be forgotten, because to remember our history is to remember them.
For me, the best way to remember the past is to look to the future, to ensure that by very continuing our lives, we are remembering the lessons of our history and that those who wish to harm our way of life have not won. For if we hide in fear, and do not stand up and live for what we believe in, then we have not learned the lessons of our past, and our very present enemies will have control of our future.
Opinion, Personal, 7/7, London, Terrorism, Remembrance.
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