'The world in one city'

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7/6, triumph. 7/7, tragedy. Never before has the passage of two days marked such a change in the collective consciousness of a city. The unfolding of our own 9/11, the morning after winning the 2012 Olympic Bid, followed the same terrible pattern as the Twin Towers with initial accident newsflashes being replaced by ongoing reports of multiple bombings. Disbelief turned to dread and then anger.

I was safely in the country when my mother called to ask if I was OK, a call repeated millions of times in seconds as other mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends all desperately tried to make contact. Our agency's London office is right next to Liverpool Street station, one of the bomb sites, which made it particularly terrifying for all of us. Only by the end of the day were we able to thank God that we had all survived.

What then followed was extraordinary. No panic, no hysteria, but a steely resolve to carry on with our lives with a greater determination than ever before. Prime Minister Tony Blair caught the mood when he said that we are more determined than the terrorists. We are. But it is not just London's determination. It is the entire civilized world. The great irony of bombing the host country of the G8 conference was the solidarity of purpose it immediately drew from the leaders of the world's greatest nations. Solidarity to defend our values, our societies and our way of life. And in the immediate agony of the London aftermath, it gave the British people greater strength than ever before. The sign posted outside the British Embassy in Washington was profoundly moving: "We are all British today."

A week later, the great metropolis of London came to a stop at midday for two minutes. Cars pulled over on the streets and turned off their engines, planes and trains delayed their departures, the queen emerged to stand alone in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace while millions of people stood in the streets in absolute silence to remember those who died.

It is this, the collective will of all civilized peoples that will ensure the defeat of the terrorists. There will inevitably be more outrages before this is over, but London is united with a strength of purpose and spirit not seen since the dark days of World War II.

And the overwhelming emotion here is that by standing together we are all stronger. As London Mayor Ken Livingstone said to the thousands in Trafalgar Square in London, "You see the world in one city." And this morning that civilized world feels closer and more united than ever before.

God bless America, God bless Great Britain and all the civilized nations of the world.

Stef Calcraft is a partner in London agency Mother

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