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July 7, 2005
You can't get in or out of the city, on a train or in a car. People are packing into the pubs, but not many are drinking they're watching the television news. At first it was dozens wounded, two dead -- at this moment it is ninety wounded, and certainly that number will climb into the hundreds. A shaken man in a business suit speaks to reporters, his voice trembling, his eyes staring into the middle distance. Another, more disheveled and spattered with blood, talks with other journalists, while an emergency worker is seen administering CPR to someone on a rolling stretcher. A red double-decker bus sits crazily sideways in the street, half its top deck lying crumpled nearby

London knows this scenario well -- it had been on a high security alert for decades. With deadly precision and perfect timing, someone has deliberately killed and maimed innocent people. But the response of the police and rescue workers is precise, too: they have done this before, perhaps more often than emergency responders in any other city.

Three million people travel the Underground every morning. I think of this, sometimes, when I'm on the subway here. It's easy to bomb mass transit -- if someone wants to do it, he can find a way. But they can't kill all of us -- more than four million riders in New York descend the subway stairs and get on a train every day. Some of us are bound to make it out alive.

They prayed, many of the people caught in the dark on the Underground. We were sitting like sardines in a tin, one of them said, waiting to die. Some have died, but most will not. Someday will your day to die, and some day will be mine. Maybe we'll be ill and expecting it, or maybe it will be a surprise. Maybe we won't even know what hit us -- most of us, if we give the matter some thought, rather favor that scenario. But none of us get to choose how we leave this life, so we'd all best decide how we're going to live it, while we're still here.

Bless the wounded and those who love them. Bless and strengthen the workers who labor to save them and treat their injuries. Bless the dying and gentle their passing, and speed the welcome of the dead into the divine embrace.
Copyright © 2022 Barbara Crafton
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