As Sadiq Khan said this week," Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism. We stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life. We always have, and we always will." Until the day I die, I will always be proud to have been mayor of this wonderful city and its people.
When the bombs happened we realised very quickly, ourselves and other specialist services, that there would be a massive group of people who would be affected as a result of the atrocity. There has been a lot of research looking at other terrorist incidents which suggests around 30-40% of people who are directly exposed to an attack of this nature go on to develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other mental health problems.
As we reflect, ten years on, on a dark day in London's history, we remember our city's proud history of dealing with whatever is thrown at it and look forward, together, to doing the same with the current challenges we face and those that are bound to confront us in the years ahead. For London is, at its very best, a place of optimism, of hope and of an age-old determination to build a future that is brighter than the past.
Like many Londoners, 7 July 2005 began for me as a normal working day. I drove from my flat in Queens Park to Ealing where I was working as an estate agent. Morning briefing done, our team of sales negotiators 'hit the phones' to drum up business and book appointments. Then people's mobiles started beeping. Other offices started calling in. Something was going on in central London.
The legacy left by these events has however been more far-reaching than might have been expected, having had something of a profound impact on how we live our everyday lives. From more security checks at airports and the increased monitoring of social media through to the new counter-terror measures requiring public sector workers to play a greater role in combating extremism, and schools being required to teach 'British values', 7/7's impact has been significant.
That evening, as I absorbed the news, I made a vow to travel by tube the next morning, because if I didn't, my thoughts were that I would not step foot on another underground train for fear of what it might bring. I remember my intense apprehension on the Northern Line platform at Waterloo as the tube doors opened to reveal an empty carriage.