The World According to Tiff Sniff

Meandering ponderings and wonderings on the state of things.


I've spent about 11 months in the UK, on three different school stays. Most of that time was spent in London.

One Tuesday, the last time I was there, I went to class as usual, went to lunch with friends, and went back to my flat to work on homework. About 2:00, my friend Andrea called me to say a plane had crashed in Washington, DC. I didn't have a TV, so walked around the corner, headed to the nearest internet cafe to check the headlines.

On the way, I passed an electronics store. I looked in at the TV's just in time to see the first tower fall at the World Trade Center. I broke down in tears in the middle of the sidewalk. I went into the store; it was a tiny place, maybe 300 square feet. The clerk and I stared silently at the horrors on the screen. Eventually two other girls on my trip, who lived nearby, walked by and saw me inside. We went together to our school's building to watch CNN and just be together.

(Coincidentally, the Afghanistan/Taliban embassy was two blocks from the building; we had to walk past it every day. After that day, I took the long way around the block. Eventually they all packed up and left.)

Others in our group told us of Londoners who had stopped them on the streets to see if they knew what was going on. Concerned citizens encouraged them to contact their families in America, and to find the rest of our group. Over the next few days, as the reality of the attack set in, we were surrounded with love and caring from this amazing city. I was lucky enough to attend both the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham and the service at St. Paul's Cathedral in honor of the people killed in the attacks. At both ceremonies, I was surrounded by Americans who lived in London, Americans who were on vacation but couldn't get home, and people from London and around the world who were crying and mourning with us. All of us held American flags, sang American songs, and stood together. Perfect strangers stopped me in the street to hug me and tell me they were praying for our nation.

Watching and reading all the news today, I sit crying for these people. London is another home to me, and my heart breaks over again with each new devastating picture. I pray for all of those killed and injured this morning, and for their families. I thank God for those who walked away, and pray that He will heal hearts and minds. I pray for those whose fates are unknown at this time. I pray for understanding in the hearts of the people who are rejoicing at this attack. I ask for wisdom in the leaders who will make decisions in coming days about what to do in response. I hope that those responsible can be found and prevented from harming others. I also hope that steps can be taken at the G8 summit to ease suffering worldwide, so that people will not feel that they need to take such drastic action to get attention.

I pray that all the people I know who are in and around London right now are safe, and that they will come home safely, too.

My sister's best friend is in London, studying and working for the summer. We were concerned, but finally heard from her, and she's fine, but had a near miss. She works on a street where one of the explosions happened, apparently, and fortunately had gone in a half hour early today. If she hadn't, she would have possibly been in the tube when the bomb went off. Thank God she's okay.

4 Responses to “Terrorism”

  1. # Blogger Tara

    I'm teary-eyed, too, reading this. I think I love London because of you. I never feel like I have the words when I try to talk about it, cuz I haven't ever been there, and I know the US and Britain are different. But in my heart, they're our "best friend" as a country; and I don't really care if they don't feel the same way. I just...I dunno, I don't want them to be attacked, I want them to be safe, breaks my heart in a second-hand way, I guess, cuz even though I haven't been there, I feel as close to London as New York right now.

    Anyway, love you, Tiff, and thanks, as always for your post. Even if I don't always comment, I always love reading it.  

  2. # Blogger Kat Coble

    As another London lover and former starving London student, your post was so moving to me.

    Thank you for taking the time to write it.  

  3. # Blogger Michael Hickerson

    Your post is eloquent, touching and moving. Thank you for sharing this with us...  

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