Thursday, July 07, 2005

"London Is The Place For Me"

Are the cowards who killed innocent tourists and British citizens in London Town today, are these murderers unaware of the city's history?

#1 Spring and summer of 1665, the Great Plague rages over London. Counts are unclear, but estimates say more than 100 000 people died painfully. Over half the city stays at home, Samuel Pepys, among them, refusing to leave. Winter should bring relief.

#2 1666, a bitter cold season. The Great Fire burns for five days, 13 200 houses up in flames, 436 acres in ashes, four fifths of the city razed to the ground. The city rebuilds.

#3 Bonnie Prince Charlie, uncrowned leader of the Jacobite rebellion, leads a Scottish army to within a day's march of London. It's 1745 and the near-defenceless city draws up its gates and waits grimly for the worst. But the Prince listens to discouraging counsel and turns away.

#4 They came just after dark. The bombs fell for fifty-seven days in a row, the worst explosion wrenching 450 souls from their English bodies. So began the Blitz, England's nightmare from the sad autumn of 1940 to the spring of 1941, London the burning focus of the bombing. The Queen would not leave, Winston Churchill would not go, and while the city refused to panic, the country built airforces and armies with a vengeance. "The idea of England folding up," said one man, "that's a joke."

#5 1993, the bombing of London by the IRA begins. Insurance companies refuse to insure property against violence, due to the high cost and liability of terrorism by the Irish Republican Army. London's response? Eat your breakfast, go to work, watch some television. The IRA is now slowly fading away.

#6 Nine o'clock in the morning, July 7, 2005. Four bombs are detonated in the city, 38 people killed, more than 300 wounded. An organization calling itself "The Secret Organization of al-Qaeda Jihad In Europe" takes credit for murdering innocent people, tourists, for Godsake. And London's answer? Looks like London already has an answer. The cowards who killed innocents just to get the gov't's attention are either incredibly ignorant of British culture, or lack the intelligence to correctly anticipate the city's response. In other words, they're murdering fools.

London is not Madrid, England is not Spain. The Spanish may have covered their faces, but these Britons, this city, will not fall down. Pale horsemen have come against London many times, their silver swords swinging high in the air. All have fallen by the highway, their ashy carcasses absorbed by the city. London has many graves, has buried many children in the dark earth. Do the city's enemies think London has no graves for them? This city is not built only of pavement or concrete, the blood of its body is not only the blood of its citizens: London is of all time, every age, history itself. It will be Time, finally, which shall make the graves of the terrorists. These murderers think they are coming violently against England in her finest city, but they are already fallen to footnotes, absorbed by the history which composes her, the people who love her, the nation she leads, and the world she has made. The city is dead? Long live the city! London is a queen and cannot die.

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