Coast Woman Saw Brits Face Terror With Courage - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/25/05

Coast Woman Saw Brits Face Terror With Courage

An Ocean Springs woman who was in England during the July 7th bombings says Americans could learn a lot from how the British handled a terror attack.

Becky Gillette says she fulfilled a lifelong dream when she took a trip to Great Britain. She came home with not only souvenirs, but also a new found respect for Londoners.

Not long after arriving in London, Gillette says she bought a map of the Underground.

"It's fast," she said. "Every few minutes there's a train to wherever you want to go."

On July 7th, terrorists tried to create havoc with several bombs. Gillette and her daughter were in South England at the time. They returned to London, not sure what kind of city they'd find.

"What we found that was so amazing was how normal and regular everything was and how unfazed people seemed to be by what had happened" she said. "People were calm and didn't seem to be upset about riding the Underground."

The relaxed mood of the Londoners was contagious. Gillette says showed a picture of her smiling while riding on the Underground. It was taken after the bombings.

"You kind of look to the locals to know what's the right way to act in any situation," she noted.

"When you see people that are relaxed and reading the tabloid on the Underground, you kind of figure, 'If they're not worried and they ride this everyday, then why should I be worried?'"

Gillette says the courage shown by the people of London is one of her fondest memories from her trip. She hopes more of that resolve against terrorism will travel across the Atlantic.

"I won't say that Americans overacted, but there is still a lot of fear in the U.S. about terrorism. I think that we should be more stoic like the British and just take this in our stride, realizing that it's a few people spoiling the stew for everybody. And do what we can to address the root causes of this so we can put an end to war and an end to terrorism."

Gillette says she was also impressed with the treatment of London's Muslims after the bombings.

by Danielle Thomas

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