The U.K. has experienced a series of tragic incidents lately with the most recent being the attack on London Bridge. Like many attacks, it can immediately stir up feelings of fear, anger, hopelessness, sadness, and intimidation. For some, bravery and courage is an immediate response and they are compelled to face danger in order to minimize injury and prevent further loss of life. For others, comforting witnesses and relaying information to authorities helps bring a bit calm to a hectic situation.
With three attacks on the U.K. in three months, it begins to get difficult relaying condolences, sympathy, or virtual hugs without them seeming like hollow expressions. Words can sometimes bounce off when citizens become numb to constant attacks against their way of life. The U.K. does have friends and allies across the globe though, some going through their own events and all of us wishing to remain united as attacks against the western and globalized way of life continue to rise each year.
Unity goes beyond accepting risk on behalf of allies and extending condolences after a tragedy. Unity encompasses putting political ideology aside in order to ensure the safety and comfort of all those striving for a brighter future and are unwilling or unable to fight. As with natural disasters, accidents, and old age, life has it’s unpleasant moments and citizens should not feel terrified that tomorrow may never arrive.
In the past three months Moscow, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sweden, France, Australia, and Iran have all suffered similar incidents. Some of these places may be portrayed as enemies of democracy by the media and yet in reality they are being targeted because they disagree with the attackers way of life.
It doesn’t take very many internet searches to see how big the problem is. On the bright side, it doesn’t take many searches to see how the world is coming together to accept Muslims into western society while combating those that primarily attack innocent bystanders with no combat training. Following that same train of thought; Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain have ended further relations with Qatar over ties with terrorists. These are Muslim countries who have said “enough is enough”.
Going beyond the past ninety days, the U.K. can find find other countries that have felt the pain of losing neighbors, friends, and fellow citizens just a few miles down from their home. Just in 2017 the list can be expanded to Pakistan and Turkey and going back a year from today would add Germany, the United States, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Jordan to those who stand united in the pain of losing loved ones but also united in the hope for a better tomorrow.
The 2004 attack on Spain and the 2001 attack on the United States are small indicators about how long this has been going on. A newborn from 2001 may be getting ready to enter uni, possibly in the U.K. or even Germany for the low cost tuition. They may be planning a trip to back pack across Europe oblivious to Brexit and unsure of how today’s events affect their future. These young minds, sometimes unsure of how to respond in these situations, are tomorrow’s hope.
For those young people, first responders can be an amazing inspiration in times of trouble. Not only do they minimize loss of life and comfort the injured, they also help to bring a sense of calm to a chaotic situation. The police and military also serve in an incredible role, working in plain sight and behind the scenes to ensure everyone’s safety. Because of their ceaseless efforts, London Bridge received a response time of eight minutes which is difficult to achieve in a city the size of London.
Despite the best efforts of first responders, police, analysts, military, and volunteer civilians there was injury and loss of life. With so much going on after an incident, it can sometimes be difficult to immediately think of words for those who have passed on and those recuperating in hospitals.
Some people may become angry at someone on the Internet saying get well soon or I’m sorry for your loss. Growing up in a world where the Internet made it possible to have more friends throughout the globe than friends nearby though, it is not insincere to say you will be missed and were loved by complete strangers. The world stands united with the U.K. in a hope for a better tomorrow.