After the attack on Stockholm…
Well by now you would have all surely heard the horrid news. Last Friday afternoon, there was a truck attack on one Stockholm’s busiest streets. Many innocent people were killed, many were left with terrible injuries. Sickening.
There was an immediate twist in the pit in my stomach from the moment I heard the news (from a frantic call from my sister-in-law to find out if we were o.k), to the moment I truly understood what was happening. It’s still there now.
I feel the world is spinning out of control, at an even faster rate, heading in the wrong way. Way over the speed limit of my mind. Events like these are now sadly commonplace. How can that be?
Everyone is still in shocked, filled with sadness, anger and bewilderment. Stockholm is quite a small city, one fifth the size of Sydney. Everyone has been touched by this with only a few degrees of separation. It happened out the front of my former work place, luckily with my friends all safe inside. Shaken, but safe.
But more than anger and powerlessness, there is a feeling of unity, togetherness and overwhelming love. I’d like to fill you in on some things that have happening in the city in the days that have followed. These are the things that have left me with hope, gratitude and a deeper love for the city I now call my home:
- That not more people were injured is very good thing. Stockholm city had a well rehearsed crisis management plan which went into effect 8 minutes after the attack. The city went into lock down in a very ordered way, without too much chaos and with everyone being informed on what was going on. The hospitals were prepared, all government departments were coordinated, everything went into action smoothly.
- The first responders were so brave and absolutely brilliant. Along with many members of the public who went to the aid of others, the police and medical response teams were on spot quickly and all did their profession proud. There has been many beautiful tributes to them, with Stockholmers showering their patrol cars with flowers all over the city.
- By Friday night, with the capital in lockdown and trains and the subway being closed, thousands of people were stranded in the city. Pretty soon the hashtag #openstockholm appeared with people opening up their homes to strangers. Others, who had access to cars, drove to the city and started offering people rides home.
- The police went out CCTV footage of the suspected driver. He was spotted by the public on a train, then one man even followed him in his car until the police arrived. Obviously there was more to it than that, but he was apprehended only a few hours after the attach, which was pretty amazing.
- On Sunday night there was a love vigil in the middle of the city and thousands of people turned up to show their solidarity towards all the good that Sweden stands for.
- On a boarded-up window, broken when the truck crashed through the wall to the store, someone left a note saying, ‘We are stronger together.’ Pretty soon after, the wall was covered in messages of love from Stockholmers, in many different languages. It’s now a place where everyone gathers, emotions are raw, strangers hug strangers and no one is alone.
- People in general, have come closer together. People come up to you in the shops and say, ‘It’s so sad’. You know exactly what they are talking about. ‘It is’ you reply. Everyone is pulling together and connecting.
Well now we have driven up to the magic of our family cabins/estate in the very north of Sweden. We had a 9 hour road trip yesterday, got some sleep and woke up to a winter wonderland. We’re ready for some family time and to keep the love and light going.
Regular programming to commence soon.