Peace After Terror

By Daniel Blaine

Saturday, I went to the spot where the Swedish terrorist attack took place. Incredibly powerful. Behind us was a kids’ toy store, which is on the ground floor of a large building and had apparently been the target of the driver of the stolen truck because it had a big pillar he thought he could take down with his bomb.

It was 2:53 on Friday afternoon, and the streets were filled with shoppers. A few minutes earlier, someone had pulled a nearby fire alarm, meant to send even more people into the street.

“I turned around and saw a big truck coming towards me,” said an Australian tourist. “It swerved from side to side. It didn’t look out of control, it was trying to hit people.” It crushed three people and killed a dog before smashing into the shop window.

Today there were huge, incredibly diverse crowds, many crying and praying. As the police went about their work, people came up and gave them flowers. I saw a Middle-Eastern man leaving a flower with his daughter, which was especially powerful since we had watched the reunion of a refugee family at the Copenhagen airport on Friday – a husband waiting just beyond the customs gate to hug his wife, both in tears, as their two children excitedly shouted, “Papa! Papa!”

And yet, despite the crowds, it was eerily quiet. When a man, perhaps on drugs or mentally disturbed, came through singing loudly, a policeman calmly told him he had to leave because they did not want to disturb the peacefulness.

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.