No amount of flowers can fill the hole in the lives of relatives and friends of attack victims
AS bouquet after bouquet were laid down on a pavement on Westminster Bridge, the scents of freshly-cut flowers from early summer blooms brought not just a rising lump to the throat, but the realisation that I have been standing in front of floral tributes one too many times and it was not a good thing.
The small mound of flowers was building up fast not too far from where pedestrians were mowed down by a lone attacker in what was classified as a terrorist act. Four people had since died from injuries.
Further up, near the gates leading to the Palace of Westminster, the attacker found another victim, a policeman, whom he stabbed to death with the two knives he was carrying.
There were flowers swaying in the wind along the bridge and on lamp posts.
The backdrop of Parliament — the seat of democracy with Big Ben towering above — provided a grim reminder of the issues the lawmakers have on their hands now.
I stood there reading heartfelt tributes — hastily handwritten ones on papers torn from notepads, beautifully crafted words of sympathy on cards — and it was as if I was reading the same words on flowers at King’s Cross in the aftermath of the July 2005 bomb attacks; at Kensington Gardens outside the gates of the late Princess Diana; and, at the concourse of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol after the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
All these were in memory of victims of acts by evil-minded people with their own agenda.
With what had happened in Germany, France and Brussels, it was as if it was a matter of time that London would be next, and it had been placed on high alert for some time.
In the 1970s, it was the Irish Republican Army (IRA), but they had a different approach in instilling fear into people and causing chaos and destruction.