7/7: three years on

NS July 7th, 2008

It has been three years since a series of attacks carried out by suicide bombers on the London Underground and one city bus took 52 lives. As I’m sure most Londoners do, I remember that day very vividly. Not only mundane things like what I was wearing or who I talked to about it or where I was, but the emotions — the fear, loss, confusion, anger, heartache, disgust,worry, relief, loneliness and, ultimately, camaraderie. I wrote last year about my experience on that day so I won’t go into the details again but I still surprise myself with how strongly I react when I think about it. My throat still tightens, tears still prick my eyes and sometimes I have to turn the channel or stop reading about it when it’s mentioned. That is my convenience, my privilege, as someone whose entire life wasn’t changed by the bombs. I didn’t lose anyone I loved and I wasn’t permanently maimed. I was not in those dark tunnels nor was I an eyewitness who still dreams of severed limbs flying. I don’t claim to put my experience on par with that, by any means. But still, it affects me. It did change me as a person a little that day and I will forever mourn those who lost their lives and the countless lives still being lost to this bloody “war on terrorism.”

So instead of more words, I give you pictures. Thousands of pictures taken by Londoners, on that day and in the years since, and posted on a community pool in Flickr. They say more than I ever could.

(photo by Danny McL)

(photo by geor gia)

(photo by MichaelSmith)

(photo by yuki*)

3 Responses to “7/7: three years on”

  1. Babychaos says:

    Two of my flat mates were just outside a pub in Covent Garden when it was bombed by the IRA in the 90s. One definitely had post traumatic stress for some time, although none of us realised until she was pretty much over it. I think they saw some pretty grim stuff. Me and the other flat mate were much luckier, we only heard one. I guess what I’m saying is one, I hear you, two there’ll always be the same shit, just with different nutters.



  2. Tabitha says:

    As someone who lives in NYC and lived through the horror and aftermath of 9/11, I can tell you that the feelings you mention never go away. It comes and goes in waves. Some days it’s as strong as ever, and not necessarily on an anniversary. Other days, it’s a blip on the screen of your life. However, the feelings and emotions of that day never leave your body. It. Never. Leaves.

  3. Frank says:

    Sometimes I feel bad that I was so removed from 9/11 and 7/7…I’m so removed from 7/7 I forgot about the anniversary, but anything around 9/11 makes me think about that day sometimes.

    Maybe the UK doesn’t make such a huge thing about it like some folks in the US, or maybe it’s because I just don’t watch the news and didn’t hear about it from anywhere else. Maybe it’s good that most people are removed from things, though, so they can get on with the business of rebuilding and taking care of things and trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    I’m going to London in a few weeks, and I’m glad I won’t really have to worry about terrorist bombings…sorry this comment is a bit random. :) The reminder of the anniversary has put me in a strange mood now.