Incredibly odd situation today, in Strikes Garden Centre at Stokesley looking at Easter decorations and pretty kitchenware my mother and I overheard a hushed and worried conversation between two members of staff. We heard the words terrorist attack, London, dead and had to ask. It felt very surreal in such surroundings with gentle music in the background. Once out at the car we Googled for news and it's terrible.
Police Officer Keith Palmer stabbed to death by the terrorist as he stood guarding the Houses of Parliament. Phenomenal strength of feeling for MP Tobias Ellwood who desperately tried to save PC Palmer, photos of his face as he realises the policeman didn't make it are harrowing. Tobias Ellwood is ex forces and lost his brother in the Bali terrorist attack. We generalise and slag off our MPs but this is an MP to have pride in. (Jo Cox MP murdered by a fanatical twat triggered by Brexit comes to mind too. She fought for women's rights and he didn't agree.)
Reports say that either four or five people died in these attacks (including the policeman and the terrorist) as the terrorist injured 40-50 people because he deliberately drove into people on Westminster Bridge before crashing then running to the Houses of Parliament where he killed the policeman and was then shot himself by the police.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley is quoted as saying it is believed the attacker was inspired by international terrorism.
It is an incredibly harsh reality in that today with smartphones and Londons WiFi that resulted in the images, reports and videos hitting social media almost instantaneously. I cannot begin to comprehend the fear of the families of the police working in that area today, knowing that one of them won't be coming home that night. Worse still seeing the images of MP Tobias Ellwood frantically trying to save PC Keith Palmer and his face, with blood on it and his expression of haunted horror as he realises that PC Palmer has passed on. Videos of the horrors are all out there, the French students injured on the bridge, Lancashire University students injured, foreign visitors injured. There are two or three dead unnamed yet. Their families and friends must be frantic for news and devastated too. The poor woman who was hit by the car on the bridge and thrown over into the Thames. Poor woman, her going over the bridge into the water was only caught on video by someone. There is nothing today that's not seen. I heard she was eventually rescued but with serious injuries.
I am a daughter of an Irish immigrant, we lived often in military towns and were seriously affected by the IRA bombings as I grew up, places we went evacuated and bombs going off. We lived in a time of fear and hate against the Irish and a time of many Americans and American businesses actively supporting terrorism on the UK mainland and Ireland. I have seen how persecution of a race or a culture is carried out and how despicable it is. I will never blame a whole race, culture or religion for the actions of a few.
My thoughts are with all of those affected by the atrocities and I hope that their Gods will be with them. Terrorist Attack - House of Parliament, live updates from the BBC