By now you’ve probably heard about a disturbing terrorist attack in London yesterday: two Islamic extremists murdered a British soldier by hacking him to death with knives and then ranting to passersby wielding camera phones that the murder was in retaliation for Muslim lives lost.
But many terrible stories have a hero inside them: Ingrid Loyau-Kennett. The 48-year-old British woman visiting her children after a trip to France happened to be riding a bus near the street in southeastern neighborbood of Woolrich, where the terrorist attack occurred. When she saw the soldier’s body lying on the ground (being “cradled” by another female passerby, who was praying over the dead body), she jumped off the bus to try and help. Then Loyau-Kennett walked up to the two blood-stained attackers, asked for their weapons, and engaged them in conversation so as to distract them from killing more people.
Loyau-Kennett, who is from Cornwall, said she is a Cub Scout leader and thought to use her First Aid skills when she saw the victim lying on the street. After finding the victim had no pulse, she asked the two attackers, who had machetes and at least one gun, to hand over their weapons. One of them reportedly told her, “We want to start a war in London tonight,” to which she replied, “Right now it is only you versus many people. You are going to lose.” But instead of running away, as she explained to the TV show “Daybreak,” she continued to talk to them with the intention of keeping them distracted: “‘Okay, I thought obviously he was a bit excited, so I thought the thing was just to talk to him.’” When asked later how she could have confronted the two killers, she said, “I wasn’t scared. Rather me than a child.” Loyau-Kennett herself is the mother of two.
Prime Minister David Cameron lauded Ingrid Loyau-Kennett yesterday, saying, “She spoke for all of us.”
So often the face of heroism is given portrayed as male: the Vin Diesels, Bruce Willis’, the Arnold Schwarzeneggers. But with little fanfare, this one brave woman Ingrid Loyau-Kennett stepped up, possibly risking her own life as she sought to help others, and she is a heroine.
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