This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

In Memoriam

"There was just an eerie quiet. It was like a scene from a war film. There were unidentifiable body parts strewn all over the place."
"Day to day, when you are busy, when you are engaged doing things, it's way in the background. But every now and again, it just creeps up."
"I'd like to give you a quotation I heard from a film about the Detroit Fire Department. There was a 32-year veteran who was retiring and he coined the phrase, 'I wish my head could forget what my eyes have seen'."
Stavros Marangos, London Fire Brigade
UK PAPERS OUT  Mandatory Credit: Photo by Geoff Robinson/REX Shutterstock (533220b)  Matrix signs above the A1 following the bomb blasts in London  TRAFFIC SIGNS ABOVE THE A1 TELLING MOTORISTS THAT LONDON IS CLOSED FOLLOWING THE BOMB BLASTS, NEAR HUNTINGDON, BRITAIN - 07 JUL 2005
(Picture: Geoff Robinson/REX Shutterstock)

"I think there's a very clear demarcation line. So for me, July 7, 2005 was the end of life No.1, and everything I knew in life No.1 and the beginning of a very fortunate position to have the gift of a second life."
"What those words said to me on my arm bracelet ["One Unknown"] was that people risked their lives to come and save one unknown -- to come and save as many one unknowns as they could. And to me, that is humanity, because they weren't selective. It didn't matter whether I had wealth or no wealth. Whether I had a faith or no faith. What the colour of my skin was. Indeed, what my gender was. Nothing mattered other than I was a precious human life."
"As I stand here before you now, I can't feel the ground. I've had to learn how to accept that I can't feel the ground [standing on artificial limbs], but I am still upright And that's a real ongoing skill a new skill that I've had to learn over the last ten years [in Life No.2]."
Gill Hicks, motivational speaker, victim of bombing July 7, 2005, Piccadilly Line Underground
7/7 survivor Gill Hicks (centre) arrives with flowers at Russell Square tube station, London, as Britain remembers the July 7 attacks amid a welter of warnings about the enduring and changing threat from terrorism a decade on.
7/7survivor Gail Hicks at Russell Square Tube -- Mirror website

Ms. Hicks, planning to take the subway at the King's Cross station happened to be standing inches from the suicide bomber whose explosion destroyed her legs. When the backpack the man was carrying was detonated by him as an expression of his Islamist hatred of those who were oblivious to the existential imperative to venerate the history of Islamist conquest and submit themselves entirely to faith in Islam compelled him to become a martyr, she was one of his victims.

Now 47, she expresses her rage against the loss of her legs and the taking of innocent lives; how those atrocities could in any manner advance any ideological, political, religious cause in a positive manner. And she has, ever since that life-damaging event, dedicated herself to an organization meant to bring people together to unite against extremism and destructive ideologies; alerting people to their responsibility toward peace.

As for Stavros Marangos, it is the silence he recalls most compellingly as one of the first London Fire Brigade members responding to the Tavistock Square bus attack. Gone the familiar normalcy of traffic, the hurly-burly of a busy metropolis and the sound that accompanies it as people go about their daily routines. The distant sound of sirens wailing, the only way of knowing that something dreadful had occurred, piercing the silence.

Member of London Underground staff talks to commuter outside Westminster Underground station in central London.  A member of the London Underground staff talks to a commuter outside of a closed Westminster Underground station entrance during the evening rush hour in central London, July 7, 2005. The world recoiled in shock on Thursday after bombs tore through London's transport system killing 37 people in a coordinated rush-hour attack. REUTERS/Toby Melville - RTRGT3P
(Picture: REUTERS/Toby Melville)

He and his mates had been warned that explosive devices might still be set off, that any personnel who felt unable to leave the fire truck could just remain there. Everyone disembarked and immediately deployed to do what they could. Only one person was left alive on the bus. They ran out of stretchers. Nearby stood the British Medical Association building, where doctors had assembled to give aid to the injured.

Those who lost loved ones that day had their lives forever changed when 52 people died commuting to work, as four British men blew themselves to smithereens on three subway trains and a bus at the morning's rush hour. Over 700 people were injured. Since 9-11 and 7-7, not too many of these violent mass assaults have taken place. Since those world-shaking events, security has been ramped up immeasurably with the military, the police and allied services on high alert.

The cost of supporting those high alerts is enormous, not merely financial but in the fear engendered and the necessary cautionary responses. People have accustomed themselves to being inconvenienced when they take flights, when they enter buildings; all necessary to ensure that no further such assaults take place and with them the loss of lives, the destruction of security, the endless grieving. There is no real need for the al-Qaedas and the Islamic States to plan their own costly missions of death and destruction abroad.

Their reign of terror can be confined now to where they are most comfortably ensconced; they have more than enough choice of victims in the Muslim populations that fail to share their fanaticism and love of carnage. And there are always ethnic and religious minorities to terrorize and prey upon as well. The world of the West can wait; in the meantime, it is local fanatics, Muslim jihadis who can proceed on their own to ensure that terror never quite mellows in people's apprehensive minds.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Photofusion/REX Shutterstock (2269137a)  We are not afraid', union jack flag at Kings Cross station following terrorist bomb attack 7 July 2005, London  War
(Picture: REX Shutterstock)

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