At midday today, people across Europe held a two minutes silence in memory of those killed and injured a week ago in London.
It was one of the most unexpectedly moving experiences I have ever had. Here in London, as elsewhere, people left their offices and lined the pavements in glorious hot sunshine. Every single vehicle stopped and an eery quiet descended, initiated by the tolling of Big Ben. The silence was obeyed impeccably; all you could hear was the occasional clicking of camera shutters quite rightly recording the tribute for history. The two minutes seemed over incredibly quickly and ended with a spontaneous ripple of applause. In that short time many people were brought to tears. It is incredibly hard to describe the shared emotion, but it was palpable; almost tangible; and could be read on every single person’s face, a steely combination of sadness and resolve.