Sunday, 5 July 2015

7th July 2005

Ten years ago this week, I was working in Austria. Sometime on Thursday 7th July, we heard that there had been a bomb attack in London: the attack now known as '7/7' to chime with '9/11' (even though in Britain we tend to number our dates differently to the Americans).

The bombs explored in places I knew well and had frequented countless times. On reflection what is most poignant for me is the fact that I may have once seen one of the victims. She worked at a place I visited a couple of times. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I ever met her or spoke to her - and she certainly didn't know me - but I have the faintest recollections that I glimpsed a girl with bright blonde hair through the open door of an office as I walked down the corridor. When I saw her photograph and read who she was and where she worked, I put two and two together.

I could be mistaken, of course, but I am left with the effect nonetheless. For me, this news story has something more real about it than usual. Amid the terror and the suffering, the dead and the dying, there was somebody with whom I could identify. When I read her obituary, of her hopes and expectations and of those she loved and who loved her left behind, I cannot help but be moved by the loss of somebody I never knew.