Ingrid Loyau-Kennett is a name that only last week, none of us knew.
I’m sure she would have wanted it to have continued that way. However, her brave decision to confront with calm reason a brutal knife-wielding murderer in Woolwich on 22nd May is one of the few positive things that came out of those horrible events on that terrible day.
Because of her actions, it appears that further tragedy may well have been averted, and at the very least it was a signal to those wishing otherwise, that “terror” cannot easily prevail.
Her actions were inspirational and a source of hope for all of us who hope for the triumph of reason over ignorance and civilization over brutality and are owed due recognition.
I am reminded of something attributed to Edmund Burke and often quoted by John F Kennedy: the aphorism “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”
There are many evil things in this world. Some as shocking and immediate as a murder, others less immediate, but often just as tragic if not more so because they occur away from the glare of publicity.
I trust all of us who consider themselves “good men” (or women) who read this blog will be inspired by Ms Loyau-Kennett’s actions and be reminded how important it is that we all do not give in to the temptation to “do nothing” in the face of forces that bring harm to society, whether that is from poverty, degenerative disease, ignorance or anything else that works to destroy the lives of decent, ordinary people.
We may not all posses her extraordinary presence of mind, but I do hope we find a little bit of her courage, sufficient to continue to face the challenges of the day.