Friday, 6 May 2011

London's 7/7 bombings - good overwhelms evil

Amid the horror of the slaughter of innocents in the July 7th 2005 London bombings on three Tube trains and a bus, there is much to be proud.
The inquest into the deaths of the bombers’ 52 victims, which concluded today, illustrated how ordinary people can be promoted by extraordinary events into heroes and heroines.
Passengers and their rescuers exhibited feats of astonishing courage. There is the continuing bravery of the survivors, who, even if they escaped grave injury will live with that day for the rest of their lives.
There is the bereaved who have borne their suffering ever since – and relived their loss at the inquest - as the coroner said, with “quiet dignity.”
Then there is the dead. A cross section of Londoners representing every background, age, colour, race, religion, and nationality whose lives were stolen by misguided men who failed in their aim to intimidate the capital.
It was almost inevitable that Lady Justice Hallett, the coroner conducting the five month-long inquest would reach a verdict of “unlawful killing”. Considering the extent of the injuries of the victims, it was always likely she would also find that despite shortcomings by the rescue services, no lives were actually lost by delays in their response.
The homeland intelligence service MI5 has not acquitted itself well, however. While it could not have prevented the murderous suicide bombings on the day, the coroner is withering in her criticism of MI5’s deficiencies and her concern that flaws in its operations may persist.
The rescue services and London Transport have responded where weaknesses were revealed but continuing gaps in areas such as air ambulance support is particularly worrying with the Olympics little more than a year away.
The £4.5 million cost of the inquest is a small price to pay for both the lessons that must be learned from London’s 7/7 and the opportunity it gave for the bereaved to express their grief.

1 comment:

  1. Bravery personified-the rescuers working in impossible conditions in the tube tunnels.

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