I cannot meaningfully add to the expressions of sorrow we all feel for the victims of the recent terrorist attacks here in Britain, but there are nonetheless two people who were caught up in these outrages that I feel compelled to speak about.
The first is the as yet unnamed police officer who is currently in hospital recovering from his knife wounds, the man who rugby tackled one of the rampaging murderers on Saturday night in London. To my mind, it takes a rare degree of bravery to confront, let alone rugby tackle, someone who is not only brandishing a large blade, but who is also wearing a suicide vest, even if this garment later turned out to be a fake. I don’t know what to say other than I wish this man a full and speedy recovery, and that I stand in sheer awe of the courage he displayed when he chose to try to save the lives of others.
The second person I wish to speak about is Kirsty Boden, the young Australian lady in the photo at the top of this post who worked as a nurse in one of the nearby hospitals, so I feel I need to try to explain why her untimely death moved me so much. As I understand it from this BBC article, Kirsty worked in recovery, in theatres, so as I underwent major surgery in a London hospital last year, it follows that I am intensely and eternally grateful to all those like Kirsty who cared for me after my operation.
Furthermore, my wife is a nurse, as is my mother-in-law, an aunty, my younger sister and at least two cousins. I’ve had the rare pleasure of meeting and working with many Australian nurses over the years, while one of them is a godmother to my daughter, so I don’t need to read statements from others about the many fine qualities of these people to know for an absolute fact what wonderful human beings they all are.
Had I happened to meet Kirsty, by some chance, during the course of one of my visits to London, it follows that after everything I’ve just written, I would have deferred to her, I would have treated her in a respectful fashion, I’d have readily told her of my automatic admiration for her, I’d have offered to buy her a drink and I’d have almost certainly asked her if I could have given her a hug, so in awe am I of Kirsty and all her colleagues in our NHS and elsewhere.
Goodbye and God bless you, Kirsty; thank you for everything you did for your fellow human beings and although we never met, it was a privilege to breathe the same air as you.