Some things really make you consider your community as a whole and the kind of people with whom you spend your time. Although I am not a native Londoner, I am very much a Londoner. I join in with the practise of ignoring everyone on the tube, get annoyed at those that can’t follow the (REALLY SIMPLE!!) escalator rules and huff at tourist who walk three abreast down Oxford Street when I’m just trying to get to John Lewis.
Sometimes London comes together, and today was one of those days. I work at St Thomas’ Hospital, which is a Central London hospital nestled on the South bank of the River Thames (Check me out, sounding like a travel brochure!). Waterloo, where the hospital is based, is a part of what makes London for me. I’ve pretty much always worked around here. First as a London Tour Guide, then for the London Eye and then with the London Ambulance Service in their Waterloo control room. Now I’m here at the hospital, not to mention that Eden was born here.
Today was one of those days where London came together. It was the funeral of PC Keith Palmer, who was murdered in the terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge and Parliament a couple of weeks back. The five mile route that his funeral procession took was lined with Londoners and tourists alike. Police officers stood shoulder to shoulder along the way to remember their fallen colleague. At my workplace, around 200 staff stood outside as the procession passed. Surgeons side to side with doctors, nurses midwives, cleaners and admin staff like myself. We’re all the same really. We’re all humans.
It was humbling to remember that even though London has lost one of our protectors, the day still goes on for those protecting the capital. Officers walk the beat, paramedics and ambulance staff tend to the sick, midwives deliver babies, transport workers dispatch trains and drive buses and admin staff like me type up clinic notes and drink coffee. It’s just another day, really, but the fact that so many took time out of their day to honour their fallen comrade said a lot to me about London.
Londoners might be rude, brusque and always in a hurry, but when one of our own falls you bet we are going to come together to honour that person and the family that they have left behind. It makes me so proud to be part of this great city and part of my fantastic workplace.
Stand down PC Palmer, London has the watch from here.