Wednesday, 7 July 2010


is what it is today.  I have posted before about omy own experience in London that day - I was trying to get from home in Kennington, south London to King's Cross to go to a job interview, and was about 10 minutes behind each explosion.  Fortunately I did not see any carnage and nobody I knew was hurt, but it was not a day to forget, that is for sure.  Iain Dale says:

I'm sorry there is no official event to allow us as a country to remember those who died in the biggest terrorist atrocity ever seen in Britain.

and he is totally right.  Why on earth is there not?


Anonymous said...

A,during the fortunately failed attempt,I was on a bus that was redirected into Tavistock Sq...I was impressed by the coolness[would it be racist to say the 'coolness of the Brits'?]of the passengers,one of whom threatened to sue LT if she missed her appointment...

Anonymous said...

"Why on earth is there not?"

Because we a re not maudlin sentimentalists, that's why not!

jane said...

and what does that make those who march and lay wreaths on Remembrance Day? and what then are those who demonstrated against Israel's action which resulted in the deaths of several Turkish people on board a ship recently? are those who died and were injured in London that day less worthy than those other dead? if so why?

Anonymous said...

Good questions, to which I will essay some answers. I would suggest that the War Dead are always in a category of their own – a Nation remembering those who laid down their lives for their country, arguably partly because of what the Nation did, or did not do. Also, they were either volunteers or conscripts – not just people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I find War Graves, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and war memorials all very poignant (and whilst I am on the subject, take a careful look at the War Memorial on Platform 1 of Paddington Station next time you pass through – it is one of the finest pieces of public sculpture in London.)

I would suggest that Holocaust memorials, things to comemorate the Armenians and the Cambodians and similar national/racial/ethnic events are also worthwhile. (And please, I am writing this in a hurry here, so let’s not get bogged down as to whether any one of those horrors is more or less worthy of sympathy than any f the others.)

What I object to is the Disneyfication of sadness, sorrowing and suffering. The Diana mawkishness was well documented, as was the criticism of the Queen for not mourning her death in the politically correct way. The response to that faux-profound question crayonned onto every bunch of flowers (“Why???”) is, of course, “Why not?” I am fed up with hearing about Liverpool fans at Hillsborough (we never hear about them at Heysel, do we?) when we never hear about the Ibrox disaster, or even Bradford.

The worst example of this sentimentality about death is Michael Winner’s camaign to erect a permanent memorial at the spot where every police officer has been killed on duty. Please note – I am not blaming the police, and I do not think that their sacrifice was in vain – it’s just that it perpetualises individual situations long after they have any resonance.

One of the consequences of growing up is that one has to have a maturer attitude to, and acceptance of, death. Death is a terrible thing – it hurts, and can do irreperable damage to those left behind. But it is inevitable, sooner or later – and the sad fact that some people were in the wrong place at the wrong time does not mean that the actions of a few criminally minded Yorkshiremen should be preserved in aspic just because they were deranged enough to plant bombs on tube trains.

FWIW, I was at the Harrods bombing. When I die, I want my gravestone to show my initials and nothing else – I will have lived (a good life, I hope), I will have died, and it will be enough that I will be immortalised in the hearts of those who have loved me.

dreamingspire said...

With respect, anon 1806, I think you are very muddled. The police death memorial idea is similarly muddled. The distinction in these civilian deaths is between accidental or incidental death and deliberate killing - and the 7/7 actions were deliberate. A few weeks ago I was on a bus travelling past the site of the then unfinished 7/7 memorial, and another passenger pointed it out. When I saw the report of yesterday's ceremony I too was ashamed that it was not an official ceremony, so all credit to those who organised it.

Anonymous said...

Yes.Too many commerations devalue what is being seems to me..much better a tightlipped Britishness..[And for the record I'm Irish not British so I don,t think I can be accsed of being racist.]

Anonymous said...

It seems to take decades before we get official memorials. I am sure there will be one eventually.

Following 9/11, I have avoided the deep tube on weekdays (I live and work in Reading, so I am rarely in London during the week), as I always expected a terrorist action.