Drummer, Lee Rigby (1988 ~ 2013) 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
I was at work yesterday afternoon when someone checking their phone said there had been a stabbing in the Woolwich area of London. Sadly this is not an uncommon occurrence in parts of London and we dismissed the story and went back to work. The full horror of the situation didn’t come home to us until we reached home.
Drummer, Lee Rigby, of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was walking back towards Woolwich barracks where he was stationed. He wasn’t in his uniform but was wearing a ‘Help for Heroes’ T shirt bought from a charity in the UK that raises money for soldiers badly hurt in action. It marked him out as a soldier but it could have been anyone. It was a sunny afternoon in a suburban street in south east London. No one was prepared for what happened next. At first people thought a car had been lost control of and had mounted the pavement hitting a pedestrian. Shock turned to horror as two men got out of the car and began to attack the man. To say he was murdered is putting it too mildly. What had happened was Lee Rigby had been butchered. It was so fast that people on the street didn’t register what had happened until it was too late. The murderers didn’t vanish but stayed, glorying in what they had done and shouting abuse. There are videos of this but there’s no way I would put them on here. The police arrived within 5 minutes and there were gunshots. British police personnel go unarmed and that’s how we like it, but if need be guns can be found pretty quickly. Both men were wounded and are now is hospital. The entire incident from start to finish lasted 14 minutes. I am torn between wanting the world rid of them (they could die of their wounds in hospital) or wanting them to survive so they can face the full force of justice. I’m leaning towards the 2nd option. But it was all too late for Lee Rigby who died at the scene.
It was very distressing to watch and has become more so as we have discovered that he is a Manchester lad, born in the Crumpsall district of the city, to the north of the city centre, in 1988. He married in 2007 and has a 2 year old son, Jack. He was a fan of Manchester United. He was a good soldier it seems and had been to Cyprus and Afghanistan and, because of the illustrious regiment he was part of, he’d done duty as a palace guard at one of the royal palaces.
People are very edgy and angry. There have already been some incidents targeting people who had nothing to do with this. This is what these terrorists want. They then want us to turn on each other, targeting innocent people who have had nothing to do with this atrocity and would never in a million years have anything to do with it. The best thing to do is to stay calm and carry on as normal, honour Lee Rigby in a dignified way, and not give these, not sure if I can use the word, ‘people’, the satisfaction of seeing us at each other’s throats. They wanted to bring war to the streets of London. No way must this happen.