London Calling

July 7, 2005 | 25 comments
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Union Jack We are commanded to mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort. And so, in the aftermath of tragedy and terror in London, we all join together in saying “I am a Londoner.”

Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with the brave citizens of London and of England, and in particular with the many victims of the attack.

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25 Responses to London Calling

  1. Kim Siever on July 7, 2005 at 4:31 pm

    That scripture is not a commandment. It is a declaration of the covenant we make at baptism.

  2. Rosalynde Welch on July 7, 2005 at 4:34 pm

    London is my truest college sweetheart, and I was so distressed to hear the news this morning. The London tube hosts so many sweet memories for me, I can hardly bear to think of it and its human cargo burning at King’s Cross and Edgeware.

  3. Russell Arben Fox on July 7, 2005 at 5:01 pm

    A ditty by Noel Coward, cribbed from Crooked Timber.

    London Pride has been handed down to us.
    London Pride is a flower that’s free.
    London Pride means our own dear town to us,
    And our pride it for ever will be.

    Oh Liza! See the coster barrows,
    Vegetable marrows and the fruit piled high.
    Oh Liza! Little London sparrows,
    Covent Garden Market where the costers cry.

    Cockney feet mark the beat of history.
    Every street pins a memory down.
    Nothing ever can quite replace
    The grace of London Town.

    There’s a little city flower every spring unfailing
    Growing in the crevices by some London railing,
    Though it has a Latin name, in town and country-side
    We in England call it
    London Pride.

    London Pride has been handed down to us.
    London Pride is a flower that’s free.
    London Pride means our own dear town to us,
    And our pride it for ever will be.

    Hey, lady! When the day is dawning
    See the policeman yawning on his lonely beat.
    Gay lady! Mayfair in the morning,
    Hear your footsteps echo in the empty street.
    Early rain and the pavement’s glistening.
    All Park Lane in a shimmering gown.
    Nothing ever could break or harm
    The charm of London Town.

    In our city darkened now, street and square and crescent,
    We can feel our living past in our shadowed present,
    Ghosts beside our starlit Thames who lived and loved and died
    Keep throughout the ages
    London Pride.

    London Pride has been handed down to us.
    London Pride is a flower that’s free.
    London Pride means our own dear town to us,
    And our pride it for ever will be.

    Grey city! Stubbornly implanted,
    Taken so for granted for a thousand years.
    Stay, city! Smokily enchanted,
    Cradle of our memories and hopes and fears.

    Every Blitz your resistance toughening,
    From the Ritz to the Anchor and Crown,
    Nothing ever could override
    The pride of London Town.

    I have a father, a brother, and a sister who have lived in London. I never have. No doubt it’ll still be there when Melissa and I visit, someday, and probably more beautiful than ever.

  4. Costanza on July 7, 2005 at 5:15 pm

    I went to prep school for two years in Britain and it holds for me, like Rosalynde, the sweetest of memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  5. Dave on July 7, 2005 at 5:15 pm

    The city that endured months of heavy German bombing and thousands of casualties in 1940 will not be deterred by four bombs and a hundred casualties in 2005. It is difficult for me to understand how such an action really furthers the agenda of those who incite the suicide bombers, except that they require continued conflict to bolster their jihad ideology. With free elections breaking out all over the Middle East, they are getting desperate, I think.

  6. Elisabeth on July 7, 2005 at 5:26 pm

    My brother is living in London this summer. I felt for a minute or two what it’s like not to be able to contact a loved one during mass chaos. He’s okay, but it’s hard to know what to say to all those who aren’t – other to than offer condolences, and to hope that the next time I’m riding on the subway that a suspicious- looking package or abandoned briefcase doesn’t blow up in my face. I’m feeling vulnerable at the moment. I know we’re supposed to just go along with our lives and not let the terrorists “win” by intimidating us, but I’m not feeling very safe any more.

  7. Steve Evans on July 7, 2005 at 5:31 pm

    For the first time I am beginning to see what others saw on 9/11 when my hometown was hit by terrorist attacks. I feel deep, deep sadness for those in London. But it will take more than bombs in the Tube to put an end to British tenacity or to the beauty of London.

  8. Larry on July 7, 2005 at 5:37 pm

    There were many survivors of bombings in WWII that I met on my mission in Liverpool and elsewhere. A more gentle and loving people I have never met. God bless the the British for their grit and stiff upper lip, and may he bless and comfort those who suffered so tragically in London today.

  9. Bro. Brandon B. on July 7, 2005 at 6:43 pm

    May God bless the people affected by this latest in terror attacks, but also I would like to demonstrate the failure that this is on the part of the terrorists. When I informed my wife of a bombing in Britian, our conversation went as follows,
    “Did you hear about the terrorist bombing in England?”
    “oh my, how bad was it?”
    “thirty-seven dead”
    “Oh my, Thirty- seven thousand?!?”
    “No”
    “Oh, Thirty- seven hundred?”
    “No, thirty-seven.”
    “oh, only thirty seven?”
    Please do not veiw this latest attack as anything but a failure, if anything this will have stengthened the resolve of our allies in the war on terror. May God bless England!

  10. Capt Jack on July 7, 2005 at 6:57 pm

    May this fair dear land we love so well
    In dignity and freedom dwell.
    Though worlds may change and go awry
    While there is still one voice to cry

    Freedom remains. These are the chains
    Nothing can break.

    There’ll always be an England,
    And England shall be free
    If England means as much to you
    As England means to me.

  11. danithew on July 7, 2005 at 7:05 pm

    May God bless the families of those who have been wounded or killed by this attack.

  12. jpg on July 7, 2005 at 7:10 pm

    I want to say one thing specifically to the world today. This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at presidents or prime ministers.

    It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old.

    It was an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any considerations for age, for class, for religion or whatever.

    That isn’t an ideology, it isn’t even a perverted faith, it is just an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder and we know what the objective is. They seek to divide Londoners.

    Ken Livingstone – Mayor of London

  13. HL Rogers on July 7, 2005 at 7:22 pm

    In that vein, I have appreciated how Friedman has labeled these Islamic terrorists, as Islamo-Lenninists. They are not fundamentalists becuase it is not religion or race or ethnicity that drives them but rather the desire for totalitarian regimes driven by fear. My heart goes out to London today and the indominatable English spirit.

  14. danithew on July 7, 2005 at 7:41 pm

    Just a note on HL Roger’s comment. I’m not entirely sure that Islamists set up totalitarian regimes … the closest thing we see to totalitarianism in the Middle East was Saddam Hussein’s regime or perhaps Asad’s regime — both of which had totalitarian and sultanistic tendencies and were ruled by a Ba’ath party — though their leaders seem to be pragmatic operators rather than idealistic political theorists. Oh these marvelous Arab “republics” that somehow become geared towards dynastic successions.

    For Islamist fundamentalist regimes I think “authoritarian” might be more correct. And I don’t know how we’d classify the Taliban regime that briefly existed in Afghanistan … that government didn’t really act very much like a state. I think there were two governments that recognized them — Pakistan and maybe the UAE, though I don’t remember exactly.

    By the way, I’m glad JPG quoted Ken Livingstone’s comment. I heard it today and thought it was quite appropriate.

  15. danithew on July 7, 2005 at 7:45 pm

    Just one more little note — I learned today that I have a cousin who was traveling in London today and that she just barely missed being in one of the spots that was bombed. We have no idea how close these attacks can be to us — even when they happen across the ocean.

  16. Mark B. on July 7, 2005 at 8:30 pm

    A niece is in London with the BYU study abroad this summer. She and all the others are safe, and have been moved off to Oxford for a few days.

    Thanks be to God for her safety. And may God be with those whose loss is so dear.

  17. Harold B. Curtis on July 7, 2005 at 10:31 pm

    Britannia, Deus Magnify Suus mos perils hora
    ( Britannia, God Magnify His will in perils hour )

    Terror is a tyranny whose boundary is unclothed
    Through the perpetrating acts of those disposed,
    To vile evil on every shore and clime,
    Their mahonic acts upon good folk to define,
    A world over which they seek control
    By death to govern the human soul

    May the God of Heaven hold you in His hand
    Send peace and comfort to your hallowed land
    Make you strong to face the villains in the way
    And lead you out of darkness into day
    By His power rule the nations just
    Restoring virtue faith, hope and trust

    Let the Jack, flag upon the breeze
    When the despot is stricken to his knees
    And the mother of the nations bear the torch
    To scourge the heathen black hearts with the scorch
    And if death they wish to have there way
    Make hast to bring upon them judgment day.

    Harold B. Curtis

  18. Brian G on July 8, 2005 at 1:02 am

    Last night I finished three months of working for the BBC. I grew close to a number of my British colleagues and enjoyed a warm camraderie with them as we collaborated together. In fact, I first learned about the attacks when I returned to my office to tie up a few loose ends today and found my office mate calling home to make sure his friends and loved ones were okay. Like many others I have fond memories of time spent studying in London–time which was truly formative. I love that city and I love English people.

    As you might expect in a work environment where half the people are American and half the people are English there were a lot of jokes about being divided by a common language and bad teeth and bad food and all the other stereotypes that people associate with Brits and Americans. We all had to work on the Fourth of July and even more jokes were made about still being enslaved by our former colonial masters. In the end I decided since all my immediate superiors were British it was probably not in the best interest of my career to review the Battle of Yorktown in vivid detail, but the thought occurred to me then that it’s really remarkable and wonderful, especially considering the rocky start to the relationship between our two nations, that the British are now our closest allies and friends in a world that seems increasingly untrusting of our country. Our relationship is so close that I think we as Americans sometimes take it for granted.

    So I just want to express solidarity with the English people at this time and say my heart does go out to the victims of these attacks.

  19. Kingsley on July 8, 2005 at 2:07 am

    A full-size British flag costs about nine bucks and really beauties up a front porch.

  20. A. Greenwood on July 8, 2005 at 11:42 am

    ‘mahonic acts,’ is good, especially leaving off the capital so it slips in under the radar. So is the reference to ‘the Jack,’ reminding us what ‘Union Jac’k actually means.

  21. Russell Arben Fox on July 8, 2005 at 11:51 am

    The name derives from an old reference to the “jack,” or small flag, flown from the bowsprit of British warships, correct Adam? I’m not up on my British symbolism, unfortunately.

  22. HL Rogers on July 8, 2005 at 11:55 am

    quick response to danithew #14. Sorry, I was a bit unclear. Friedman is not discussing current nation states in the middle east. rather he is referring to terrorist organizations like al queda. now whether his conclusion is correct is obviously up for debate as his idea is rather speculative. but it hits a nerve with me and seems better in my mind than referring to al queda as fundamentalists.

  23. A. Greenwood on July 8, 2005 at 12:22 pm

    Yes, but not just British ships, if I recall.

  24. Ronan on July 8, 2005 at 1:15 pm

    Thank-you, my friends, for your words of support. As a Brit and a Mormon, they mean a lot. I’m in England right now and am comforted that our friends across the Pond are thinking about us. Rule Britannia!

  25. Jack on July 8, 2005 at 1:43 pm

    I’ll never forget the feelings I had on day of 9/11. Something I had never felt before–a burn to grab a weapon and run on to the battle field. I had a resurgence of those feelings when I heard about the attack on our “friends across the Pond”.