Tuesday, July 12, 2005

BBC NEWS | Magazine asks, is it "Blitz spirit or bluff determination"?

You decide BBC NEWS has the evidence here Some samples:
It seems to be an unwritten rule that in times of trouble the British show the Blitz spirit.

The Queen and the prime minister are obliged to speak of it and the media are guaranteed to report it.

So it was inevitable that after last Thursday's bombings in the capital, Londoners returning to work would be praised for "refusing to let their spirit be broken".

But most Londoners simply have no choice but to get on with their lives, according to some. What has changed is people's interpretation of their actions.
So there's the choice in a nutshell. Now, for testimony:
Martin Jay, from north London, says people have no choice but to use public transport and little bravery is involved.

"I have to laugh at the suggestion that Londoners are sending out a defiant message to the terrorists by going to work," he says.

"I know I'm not. For me it's simply a case of go to work or be out of a job."

Others point out that people in cities around the world face similar dangers every day.

But many disagree and believe getting on with their lives is sending out an important message.

"The people of London have come together in a remarkable way to get the city back on its feet so fast," says Romano Plescia, who works near King's Cross.

"In doing so they are making the most important statement that we as a society can make, that something like this only brings us closer together and makes us stronger than ever."
New Yorkers understand this solidarity. They showed it en masse during the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Now, Londoners were far more accustomed to attacks as recently as a few years ago. The IRA saw to that. However, the last few years saw a relative calm settle on the city.

I imagine old habits die hard. When I first arrived in London, the mere mention of a bomb alert set my neckhairs up. Towards the end of my time there, I became more resigned or annoyed than frightened. We all do what we have to do. That meant living with the threat of bombing in the Spring of 1992. The terrorists hope to shatter Western society. Nothing would please them more than to see Britain's capital paralyzed with fear. Few things woul pleasure them as much as the sight of Londoners too terrified to go to work. Therefore, the fact that Londoners have shown up in spite of the risk defeats their ambitions. They practice heroism by doing what they have to do when it could potentially cost them their lives. I'm honored that the children of the Blitz generation have shown the terrorists the steele of their nationality. Like the sign says, they will fail.