London Attack Hits Close To Home (And Heart)

In the news business, you're supposed to keep emotion out of the story. At least that's what I was told when I first started my career 30-plus years ago. But sometimes I can't help myself.

One example...when my co-anchor and I broke news about an attack near Parliament in central London Wednesday morning. As I'm reading tweets, and we're trying to gather information about what was unfolding, I found myself starting to tear up. I can't help it. To me, London is "home." At least home in the sense of family. My dad is from England, most of my family live over there, I spent time in school just outside of London, and more hours and days wandering the city than I can remember.

I was there in the early 80's when the IRA bombed parts of the city. I remember driving through the streets, and how quiet everything was in the days that followed. People were scared. Me, I always felt comfortable wandering around. There was always something new to discover in this ancient city.

When I fly back into London's main airport to visit family, or take a train into the city, I get emotional. There's something about the place that draws me back. Maybe it's the history, and all London has had to endure (World War Two) and how it had to rebuild after being bombed by the Germans. The Brits never complained. Just like after 9/11 here, everyone helped everyone else. There was, and still is, a pride about being able to live, and make a living in that city. If you spend enough time there, you refer to "it" as a person...not miles of buildings, museums and tourist destinations.

That's why when we first learned that a police officer and woman (then later, as I write this, several others) were killed in another senseless attack, I had a hard time keeping the emotion out of my voice. I wasn't just mourning what happened to a city...I was mourning an attack on an old friend.

Dan Mitchinson

Dan Mitchinson

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