THE BLOG

7/7 Remembered: Why the Killers Failed

07/07/2015 08:18 | Updated 06 July 2016
To mark the 10 year anniversary of the London 7/7 terrorist attacks, HuffPost UK is running Beyond The Bombings, a special series of interviews, blogs, in-depth features and exclusive research reflecting on how Britain has changed since.

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On this morning 10 years ago Miriam Hyman rang her father to tell him she was safe. She had just been evacuated from King's Cross tube, where there seemed to have been a major incident. She decided to take the bus, via Tavistock square. Miriam was 31, a freelance picture editor with a wide circle of friends. She was also an artist, and last night we held an exhibition of her work at City Hall. She liked to do swirling abstract pastels, full of light and colour, and her sister Esther pointed out one in particular. She said she believed it had a special meaning.

"She called it light at the end of the tunnel," said Esther. It does indeed show a dark tunnel, with tracks at the bottom, and a ghostly glow in the middle. I looked at it, and I remembered what it was like that morning, when the news came about what had happened in the tunnels of London.

First there were some odd reports of a "power surge"; then came the slow understanding of the scale of events - and the news of the bus that was carrying Miriam. I was editing a magazine not far from Tavistock square, and I cycled out into the streets of Holborn. I remember the blankness on the faces of the crowds, people milling around - not sure whether to stay and work out what was happening, or whether to try to continue to get to work. Today we remember those London commuters, Miriam and rest of the 52 who died. We think of their talents, their hopes, their loves and affections - all of them brutally cut short. When I look at Miriam Hyman's pictures, I have to admit that I feel a renewed sense of anger. I cannot fight it. I feel again that mixture of bafflement and outrage at the sheer callousness and narcissism and cruelty of the killers. Many people, I expect, feel the same.

We of course have this important consolation, 10 years on - that whatever the pain they caused, whatever the wounds they dealt, those killers failed in their real aim. They did not change the fundamental things about this city that make it great. In the last 10 years London has if anything become more cosmopolitan, more exciting, more dynamic - more obviously the capital of the world. It is still a place of hope, a place where people come to make their dreams. We went on, after the 7/7 bombings, to host a superb Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Last year London was again the world's number one tourist destination. And yet that is not enough. We know that there are still people who mean us harm, who are being somehow taught to despise what we stand for. We cannot let them win, and the battle begins in the minds of the young. Miriam's mother Mavis has set up a charity, the Miriam Hyman trust. They fund an eye hospital in India, and an anti-radicalisation programme for 11-14 year old Londoners: helping kids to see, both literally and figuratively. They deserve support.

How was Britain impacted by the 7/7 bombings? Join the @HuffPostUK conversation on Twitter with #BeyondTheBombings