Reflections on the London Terror Attack

On the day of the London attack last week, I was at the gym with my mom, on the elliptical machine, watching television. As soon as I saw the news, I was full of reactions: sadness, worry, fear. Then my mom told me that her friend’s daughter was currently studying abroad in London. My immediate thought was Oh my god, is she okay? Thankfully she was safe, far away from the attack in her dorm room. The scary part was what my mother told me next. The week before the daughter and her father (who was visiting at the time) were at the same exact spot where the incident occurred! What a coincidence.

In the recent tragedy of the London terrorist attack that occurred on March 22, 2017, I had time to reflect on my personal experiences during a prior terrorist attack that occurred in Paris in November of 2015.

In the Fall of 2015, my friend and I were studying abroad in Spain. One weekend we decided to take a spontaneous trip to Paris. Sadly, we didn’t see anything that weekend due to the terrorist attack in Paris. We were staying at an Airbnb about a mile from the attack. The scariest part is that my friend was in route to the loft from the airport while the attack was occurring. Imagine being in a foreign country with no knowledge of the language and no cellular reception. I was freaking out! Thankfully, she eventually got to the loft all safe and sound. But, anything could have happened.

I was no longer at my gym, thousands of miles away from the attack. Instead I was back in Paris, afraid and uncertain of what was yet to come. I could imagine the fear and worry many of the Londoners and tourists were feeling. I may not have been in London during the attack, but I can relate to what many Europeans are thinking of right now.

We watch the news and hear about tragedies every now and again. However, we don’t really feel the fear until we are the ones being affected. Now and again, I am fearful of flying or traveling out of the country. I tell myself not to be afraid of traveling across seas or taking the Manhattan subway. The only thing I can tell myself now is that we cannot be afraid, we cannot live in fear; other wise we wouldn’t truly be living.