When Mundane People Encounter Terrorism

Not everyone is a hero. When terrorism comes, how do civilians feel?

I wrote some notes and read this story based on my notes. Here are the notes:

Today let’s talk about the terrorist attack, in China.

The first terrorist attack I have heard about was 911 in New York City, but it was just something happened in thousands of miles away so that I couldn’t feel anything about it.

Until the first terrorist attack in China was taking place in 2009. Well technically it’s not the first one, but it’s the first major attack in China since I have memory.

I was just sit in a KFC and browsing the news, and I saw it.

Hundreds of people were murdered, and why I care about it that one of my friends just went there do some business.

I texted him, and at the same moment, I was nervous: what if he doesn’t reply? Does that mean he is in trouble?

Minutes later, the tension was resolved. He was fine.

Years later, some other terrorist attacks take place in China.

Here I’m gonna tell two stories from others.

The first one, which I read on the internet, is about Kun ming terrorist attack in 2014.

March, 1st, 2014, Her name is Chen Lihua, and She was in Kunming Rail Station with her husband, waiting for their train.

In China, it’s not like that you go to rail station then you buy a ticket then you can go in 2 hours. No, especially in spring, sometimes you can only get a ticket for a train departing tomorrow. So it’s very typical to see people sleeping inside the train station waiting for their train to come.

So, she and her husband were both sleeping. And somehow, she woke up, and saw a man took a knife, a 15-inch long knife, from beneath his coat, and slashed another man!

She was stunned because she has never seen such things happen in her whole life. And after that, she just saw another man stood up, took a long knife out too!

She kicked her husband awake, said: “Run, hurry up, someone is killing people here.”

They don’t have time to wear their shoes, not to mention take their luggage. Other people start to run out of the station too.

When they get out, police asked what happened. The crowd said people slashing others with extremely long knives. The police said to the intercom:”Some people are fighting in the station”. Yes, they don’t think it’s a terrorist attack because the terrorist attack had almost never have happened in China.

They are lucky, they made it run out the station, they are temporarily safe now. And when the police realize it’s an attack, more police came and fought the terrorists. This story ends up 31 civilians were killed in this attack.

She didn’t see much of the horrible scenes, but she is still afraid to recall that day.

Ok, the other one is from my friend in Beijing, we know each other after this incident, one day we were having beers together, and he told me this story.

He was working in National Museum of China.

on Oct, 28th, 2013,

the Museum was closed for regular maintenance.

He was working in his office, writing some documents. All the sudden, his coworker burst the door open and said:

“Something happened on the Changan Street.”

He was still concentrating on his writing, so He said:

“No way, what could happen on the Changan Street.”

In case you may not know, Changan Street is the street in front of Tiananmen Plaza, one of the under tight protected places in China.

His coworker said: “I don’t know, but there is not any person or vehicle on the street.”

Hearing this, He had quite a surprise. If something happens here, it must be a big deal. So He folded his laptop, went out to the street.

It was weirdly silent, no person or vehicle on the street, and even not a bird in the sky.

He was curious so He starts to walk toward the Tiananmen Plaza. Suddenly at this moment, some Security of the museum run to his, they were running so fast that it feels like they were almost suffocated by their ties.

“What are you doing! Go back to your office! It’s not safe here! Move!”

He was scared, so He ran back to his office, and He can see some armed police running in the building. And even in the building, He can still hear the security who just shouted to his was shouting to others:

“Close the north gate! Hurry! What the fuck are you doing I said close the gate!”

He didn’t go back to his office because he was curious. In turn, He went to another room in which there is a big window by which He can see the street.

He was shocked; there was literally nobody on the street, which was always crowded every day. And in front of the Tiananmen Rostrum, He saw a fire and a massive pillar of black smoke billowing into the sky, vehicles from the police department and the army were parking there and flashing lights. And He heard a voice from someone’s intercom saying “terrorist attack” or something.

So that’s the story, and When I ask him what do you feel at that moment, He asked me back: have you ever experience a tooth extraction?

Assuming you got some problem with your tooth and you must pull it out. You know it would hurt, but you have never experienced the pain. However, things changed when you sit in the chair in a dentist hospital. You see the light in front of your face; you feel that the doctor is pocking your teeth with strange instruments. And finally, you hear the sound of the drill; which gives you the real pain seconds later.

Now you have the real concept of the tooth extraction.

So is the terrorist attack, we have only seen it on TV or Internet, which make the attack abstract and vague. Only after you experience one, it becomes real and vivid.

This is the first terrorist attack in Beijing, and I hope there won’t be any more in the world.

I’d like to say that I hope there won’t be any more attacks in the world. But I know that won’t be true.

What I only can say is, we will not let them win. That’s it.

thanks for listening.


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