Monday, July 11, 2005

Words of Solidarity and Defiance

The warm, humid air was heavy last night with the scent of flowers, left by wellwishers to express their sympathy and solidarity with the dead and injured, and their friends and families. Some had lit candles, others had left notes, poems, and letters. There were flags and messages from many countries, in that space below the corner of Kings Cross Station.

The messages - from Londoners, and people of many nationalities and faiths who were visiting the capital, or who had made their home there - expressed sorrow, shock, outrage and defiance, and a determination to carry on with life. Some messages which stood out for me were from muslims who expressed outrage and sorrow that their faith should be used as a pretext for such an evil deed.

The response of so many ordinary people, more so than the speeches of any number of politicians, is a sign of hope. The mood of those who stopped to watch and contemplate was sombre, but their quiet determination was almost palpable.

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