LONDON, ENGLAND--4 people were killed and more than 40 injured outside of the UK Parliament, London on March 22, reports CNN London. The attack comes on the one-year anniversary of the Brussels Airport attack which ISIS claimed responsibility for last March. The attacker, a 52 year-old man named Khalid Masood with apparent ties to the Islamic State was intercepted and shot dead by police outside of Parliament shortly after the attack began.
In speaking of the event at the next day's meeting of Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May was clear in projecting democracy's strength in the face of such incidents. "Our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism," she said. "And we meet here, in the oldest of all Parliaments, because we know that democracy—and the values it entails—will always prevail. Those values—free speech, liberty, human rights and the rule of law—are embodied here in this place, but they are shared by free people around the world."
May's comment that democratic values are shared by "free people around the world" was supported by the diversity represented those injured, which the New York Times reports as including "12 Britons, five South Koreans, three French schoolchildren, two Greeks, two Romanians, and one citizen each from China, Germany, Ireland and Italy."
"A terrorist came to the place where people of all nationalities and cultures gather to celebrate what it means to be free," May said, referencing the spired building which has served as the background in a number of images published featuring response to the attack.
The attack took place at 2:40 p.m., reports the New York Times. Masood, who was born in nearby Kent, England, drove a rental car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge outside of Parliament and killed two. After crashing into a railing, Masood abandoned the vehicle and ran towards Parliament, where he proceeded to stab London Pc Keith Palmer to death before being fatally shot by nearby police.
Despite the brave front which May and other Britons projected on Thursday, friends of democracy in England and around the world are grieving. Vigils were held Thursday night in Trafalgar Square, a popular gathering space named for the British naval victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in October 1805. The irony of the recognition of such a loss in a space of victory was clear; May painted a similar contrast in her address to the House of Commons in stating that yesterday the world "saw the worst of humanity," but will remember "the best," such as the sacrifice officer Palmer made to protect his country.
Photos from and reporting of the area following the attack reveals the sidewalk along Westminster Bridge and alongside Parliament lively with a sea of determined-faced commuters. The fact revealed by these images, that England has not and will not be shaken by such aims at the way of life they and nations such as our own holds so dear, is a message May hopes rings clear throughout the world. It is in "millions of acts of normality," commuting to work among them, said May, in which "we find the best response to terrorism."
"Let this be the message from this House and this nation today," said May, "Our values will prevail."