Saturday, 7 July 2012

7 7/7.

Seven years ago, I was sitting in the school canteen eating my two-tone peanut butter sandwiches, when my best friend burst through the doors and slammed her hands down on the table in front of me, totally breathless and wild-eyed.

"Oh my gosh Grace, have you heard what happened in London??!"
"Ermmm, we won the Olympics a couple of days ago didn't we...?"
"Well yes, but no... London's been bombed!"

The school office was flocked with pupils wanting to call home, the playground was in a frenzy and teachers were rounding everyone up and telling us not to panic. I had never realised just how many other kids were in the same situation as me: a mummy at home and a daddy who worked in the big city. Sons and daughters of commuters were congregating in the school hall, being wrapped in their coats and comforted by those with locally-based parents. We'd accept their kind words and offers of sweets or cups of squash, but know deep down that they couldn't possibly understand the real terror (literally) we all felt.


When I got home from school, I watched footage on BBC News of the bombings over and over again; "Breaking News! London Bombed! Targeted Terror!" even the calm and collected newsreaders looked rattled and panicked. Dad finally made it home, and I realised how completely stupid I'd been to worry - he doesn't get the underground or buses, and by the time the bombs hit he was safely at work and watching the live news coverage from one of the downstairs rooms in the office building. But stupidly worrying is what family does best in a crisis.

Seeing today's trending topics on Twitter has really upset me. The hashtags #ITALIANDIRECTIONERSWANT1DINITALY #PARTYATUSHERS #OneTime3YearAnniversary and #3YearsBeliebing are a serious insult to everyone who was involved in the 07/07 attacks; whether they were sitting at home watching the TV anxiously, trying to call friends and family members, or they were running for their lives through the streets watching a bus explode and wondering if they'd make it home... If they could see people celebrating popstars' debut singles or begging for their favourite boy band to tour internationally on the 7-year anniversary of something so devastating, what would they say? I can't speak for everyone, obviously, but I'm fairly sure they'd be disappointed.

#7YearsWeRemember.

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