London went back to work. The tube, apart from a few trains, was running as were the buses. As I walked, the streets were muted. Faces stern but resolute. A few maniacs were not going to get in our way, our way of living, our way of running our own lives. As the train swept into the station, I exchanged a silent look of empathy with the driver. Thank you, my eyes said, thank you, for braving your own fears, for deciding to work today in the same place where horror, destruction and terror were ravaged yesterday. Thank you for your thankless work every day, for showing that we, londoners, are fearless, a mere 24 hours after a monster had tried to slow our city.
There is no doubt that there was fear yesterday. Every time we stopped in the darkness of a tunnel, a restless wave swept down the carriage, immediately alleviated by a voice over the tannoy assuring us that we were only waiting for a train, not smoke, light and the devastation of an explosion. No one chatted, no one laughed but lovers shared their arms of reassurance, friends kept their voices low in deference to those who also shared our tunnels, whose bodies remain on those rail lines, whose voices, just like ours, had been heard in those carriages.
I personally thanked four policemen yesterday. A drop in the ocean, perhaps, but all over London, we, the innocent general public, thanked our envoys. What must it have been like to receive the call? What must it have been like to be the first to arrive at the shattered bus? How can one person, or even a group of people cope with the bloody fall out of a shattered, twisted, amputated tube train?
To those who went into work today, unbowed, we salute you.
To those who helped those on the scene of the explosions, we salute you.
To those who cared for our wounded, our stricken, our hurt, we salute you.
To London, and to Londoners, we salute you.