Throughout history we've waged war against extremists, but they keep popping up to inflict damage upon citizens across the globe. Human bombs, crashing planes into buildings, televised beheadings - all part and parcel of modern extremists' hate crimes against humanity.
Living abroad has given me a new perspective on international terrorism. My daughter spent Friday night, the same evening Paris was attacked, with her schoolmates in Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street, and the Hard Rock Cafe in central London celebrating a friend's birthday. My husband commutes to the east side of London where there are many large financial institutions, traveling across the city centre every day on the tube.
When terrorism reared its ugly head once again in Paris this weekend, about 325 miles from where we live, I wondered how much I'm supposed to worry and fret about our safety in the 'burbs of London. Granted, the fact that England is an island and has strict immigration laws does lend some comfort. However, it would be a plum of a target if these evil-doers could spew their agenda of hate upon an unsuspecting British population. Despite the cameras and security measures in place, as well as ongoing vigilance by the government, there is no place that is safe from a person with evil in his/her heart willing to die for a twisted cause.
I'm so glad our school's varsity soccer and volleyball teams were in either England or Germany for the international school tournaments this weekend. Although they do rotate to other schools, thankfully Paris wasn't a site for competition this weekend. That would have been an awful nightmare for parents since France closed its borders in the wake of the attacks.
Bottom line - we won't cower or hide or live our lives any differently. We'll be happy and productive and carry on with the understanding that evil will never be snuffed out in a world where some people don't value human lives, including their own.