On Being Abroad During Hard Times

Mar 29, 2017 1:30:00 PM / by Julie Ritz

CAPAStudyAbroad_London_Spring2017_Courtney Manning Profile Square.jpgCourtney Manning is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Convergence Journalism major at the University of Missouri-Columbia, she is studying abroad in London this semester.

In this week's post, Courtney discusses her feelings about the serious incident in London on March 22, 2017.

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As the majority of the world knows, there was an attack in London on Wednesday, March 22. I intern in Westminster, where the attacks happened, only a short walk away from Parliament and the Westminster Bridge. I didn’t even know it had happened at first- I was writing an article for my internship and had my headphones in when people in our trip GroupMe started asking if everyone was okay. Confused, I checked Twitter to see what was going on. Apparently my colleagues had been talking about it for a few minutes by that time, and were trying to understand what had actually happened through the limited (and many false) updates on the internet.

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We could hear the police sirens and see the helicopters flying in very clearly from our office, and it was certainly scary being so close to all the action. I think that Americans and Brits tend to respond quite differently to horrible events like this, as my colleagues (and those of all the other kids on my trip) seemed quite calm.

The people of London are very strong, and as I saw written on a tube service information sign, “the flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of them all.” Another read, “all terrorists are politely reminded that THIS IS LONDON and whatever you do to us we will drink tea and jolly well carry on, thank-you.” Even hours after the attack people seemed to carry on with life as normal, and the sunset that night was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I also saw a wonderful bit of street art on Brick Lane that stated “Muslims r awesome,” which was nice to see since every terrorist attack sadly seems to bring more Islamophobia than was already present in the world before.

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London is a beautiful, diverse city that, while cold and unforgiving at times, has some of the most wonderful people who will come together in harmony to support and protect each other and their city. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the attacks this week, and I know that no terrorist attack can bring this wonderful city down. In my opinion, love is much stronger than hate, and events like this often have the opposite affect that the attackers wished them to have, as they often bring people closer together in their love and strength.

I'm also incredibly thankful for how quickly and efficiently CAPA responded during this difficult time. Within minutes of finding out the attack happened, CAPA texted my fellow students and me, and even called me to make sure that I was okay. It made me feel very safe to know that I have people watching out for me at all times, and that CAPA was also watching out for my friends on this trip and making sure that we were all out of harm's way.

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Although you see the worst of people during attacks like this, I also believe that you see the best of people when they do all they can to help each other in times of peril. We must remember to be grateful for our police force at times like this, as well, because they are the ones running into dangerous situations while we are the ones running out of them. London will not be brought down by senseless acts of hatred, and my adopted city and its residents will come back stronger and more unified than before.

Thanks Courtney!

Courtney's journey continues every Wednesday so stay tuned.

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Topics: London, England, Safety Abroad