London today, yesterday and before.

Livingstone remarked upon what he thought was a keystone of the successful London bid: that 300 languages are spoken by people of origins from across the world, who live together side by side. He continued:

This city typifies the future of the human race….I would like to congratulate Londoners – no panic – an incredible response of stoicism….I myself will use the UG to go to work on Monday as normal, and that is the advice I give to every Londoner….I wish to thank Londoners for their solidarity – there are some places where such an incident would unleash internal strife and physical violence, but Londoners have stood firm….If you go back a couple 100 years…there was a saying “city air makes you free” – and the people who come to London…have come for that…this is a city where you are free to be yourself, as long as you don’t harm anybody else…a city where you can seek your potential. And that is our strength….that’s what they seek to snuff out. But they will fail.

A pensioner on the streets following the explosions yesterday:

Nil desperandum.

Here’s another blitz quote, from H.V. Morton’s London, February 1941.

I do not know how many tons of high explosives have been tipped out upon the gigantic target of London since the Battle of London began on August 24th, 1940. The result is a grim city, a shabby city, except round and about Guildhall, where several famous streets have been burned to the ground.
The people of London, having developed a technique of living in the face of repeated danger, now accept the preposterous, and what was until so recently the incredible, as the normal background of existence. I often think that the ability to reduce the preposterous and the incredible to the level of commonplace is a singularly English gift.

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