London attacks force Suffolk students to recall time of terror


By Facebook user 4tamilmedia

The United Kingdom has been targeted by acts of terrorism five times this year, although London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan told multiple news outlets that spolice has stopped seven additional attacks.

The most recent attack on London came on Sept. 15, when a bomb wrapped in a grocery bag placed in a bucket exploded in the subway system during the morning commute. No deaths were reported and 30 people were reportedly injured in the attack.

News of the devastating explosion, just the latest of the atrocities to face the country, reached Suffolk university forcing students who recently studied in London to reminisce over the acts of terrorism that occurred during their stay. The most prominent of these was the London Bridge terrorist attack, which dominated media platforms for months. Terror struck a number of pedestrians on the London Bridge this past June, just a ten minute walk from the London South Bank University (LSBU) where approximately 18,000 students reside and attend class.

Hannah Melissen, a junior with a Sociology major, studied abroad for the first time in London last spring semester. She recalled the days surrounding the attack that occurred on London Bridge, when a van carrying three men crashed into pedestrians onto the bridge. After the crash, the three assailants proceeded to run into the nearby shops and pubs and slash people with knives. Three people were killed and nearly 50 more were injured. Melissen was headed back to America at the time of the attack, but recalled the day that was punctuated with concerned friends and family.

“I was thankfully in a plane headed home to the U.S but a bunch of my friends that I made were still there so it was scary. I’ve never been so shaken in my life,” said Melissen. “I had just landed home so my phone was blowing up from family members trying to contact me but I was trying to contact my friends and it worried me that they weren’t responding because of the time difference.”

The first attack in Westminster, similar to the assault on the London Bridge, involved a man who plowed a van into onlookers before he stabbed a police officer. The devastation was roughly a twenty-minute walk from LSBU flats. The second attack on the London Bridge and Borough market was about five minutes away from campus and was a frequent weekend spot for many students.

Jenna Palumbo, a junior double majoring in Marketing and Management, studied abroad in London after years of travel consideration.

“I remember I was on the phone with my mom and then there was a knock on my door and it was my three friends who were getting ready to go out informed me,” said Palumbo. “My family wanted me to get the next flight home but I didn’t want to let the terrorists win, it is their goal to make us live in fear so I wasn’t going to let that happen it was my last week in London.”

The police responded to a call about a white van railing into a number of pedestrians on the London Bridge. According to The Telegraph, a newspaper stationed in the U.K. reported the van swerved off the road and drove onto people on the pavement.

“I personally felt safe that I was in my room and there was a police station across the street. They had shut down the street the attack took place on,” said Palumbo. “There were police everywhere nobody was allowed to leave or come onto the street but it made me feel uneasy that I had no control over what could happen at any time.”