Quite frankly I am still in shock from seeing the images and news footage from the bombings in Norway earlier on today. It brought back all the horror from the 7/7 bombings in London for me to be honest, and that really hit me hard. Unlike everyone in the western world, I feel no emotional connection to the 9/11 attacks. I understand their political and cultural significance on not just America, but also the entire western world, I think what happened was completely unjustifiable and inexcusable, it makes me feel sad for the people yes, what happened was a tragedy but at the same time... Well, first of all, I was just a little kid when it happened, my Dad made my sister and I watch it with him, I have vague recollections of him not letting us leave until I started crying because of the 'film', he had to explain this wasn't a film. So yes, it made me sad, but I've never felt scared on a plane or anything.
On the other hand, I was eleven when the 7/7 bombings took place, it was my final primary school sports day, as a chubby, unfit child this was something I didn't enjoy anyway. Unbeknownst to me, my Dad was running late that morning once he arrived at Paddington station as part of his daily commute, this seems irrelevant, but it's important. Slowly, trickles of news started to filter through from the ladies in reception that something awful had happened in London, everyone else out on the field of course had no clue, but some of the women whose husbands also worked in London started crying. Of course, due to the mobile network's overload and subsequent crashing, no one had any direct news from their loved ones, all we knew was, as the facts started to appear, was that my father's tube train had been bombed. Thankfully he had missed his train, arriving on his platform literally as it drove away.
I do think though, my connection to 7/7 is, whilst heightened in intensity by my father, also largely unaffected by it. It took place in both my capital and favorite city, it came the day after I watched processions on television celebrating the world cup. But mostly, there were less people involved. The fewer the people, well, it keeps them as people, not just some horribly sad number (yet a number all the same).
That's why Norway really affected me, I could consider them as people, not just a statistic, and my heart goes out to each and every person affected by the absolute worst humanity has to offer <3