30 November 2019
By Tim Koch
Everyone will be aware of the terrible events in Fishmongers’ Hall and on London Bridge on Friday.
Terrorism and the threat of it affects us all. Statistically, most of us are unlikely to ever be involved in a terrorist related act, but when such an ‘incident’ occurs in a place that we sometimes visit and could have been in at the time, the horror felt is that much greater, however selfish that heightened emotion may be. There are many Londoners or visitors to the capital that could have been on the bridge at the time and some of us in the rowing world know Fishmongers’ Hall well through its association with the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race.
If there is anything positive that can be taken from such events, it is often that they can produce actions that are the antithesis of the terrible acts themselves. I have previously complained that the term ‘hero’ is much overused nowadays and that it should be reserved for ‘those who rode to the sound of guns’. Friday produced at least three real heroes, ordinary people who went towards danger in an attempt to protect others. According to The Guardian:
Three members of the public, including one armed with a fire extinguisher and another a 5ft narwhal tusk, grappled with and eventually grounded the London Bridge knife attacker before police arrived. Footage has emerged showing people at the scene surrounding the attacker, who is eventually pinned to the ground. One man sprays him with a fire extinguisher before trying to hit him with it, while another approaches him with a narwhal tusk, lunging at him. It is believed the item was pulled from the wall of Fishmongers’ Hall.
Those who use such incidents to justify racist views will be disappointed to know that the ‘narwhal hero’ was, according to The Times, a Pole, a chef from the Fishmongers’ kitchen.
Terrorists can be any race or nationality, and so can heroes.
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