There are moments in life we all remember, and I will never forget where I was on 7 July 2005 when the awful news came through that a series of bombs had gone off on the London Underground and on a London bus.
I was working at the Department of Health, and when I got out of the tube at Westminster my phone was flooded with with texts and voice messages from worried friends and family asking if I was ok. Like millions of others across the city, I immediately replied, and then started ringing people myself.
52 people were killed that day and 700 injured, some of them left with disabilities which will affect them for the rest of their lives. The country will never forget those terrible events. The families of those killed and injured deserve our continuing support.
If the aim of the killers was to intimidate the country or change our way of life, they failed. The country mourned the senseless loss of life, but carried on. Neither our great capital city nor the country as a whole allowed mass murder to destroy co-existence. We continue to enjoy a level of religious freedom that is admired around the world, Millions still travel on the underground every day. London is an even more diverse and outward looking city today than it was a decade ago. Not for our capital the prospect of living in fear. Instead it stands as a global city of all nationalities and faiths, more concerned with what you can contribute than where you came from.
The tenth anniversary of 7/7 is a moment to reflect on our fight against the ideology that drives people to kill themselves and others, including in appalling attacks like Sousse, where two of my constituents lost their lives on the beaches of Tunisia.
In foreign policy terms we have been through the experience of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the period of reaction against intervention, most notably the Parliamentary vote on Syria two years ago.
In pictures: The 10th anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings
In pictures: The 10th anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings
1/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
Security staff and workers from Hyde Park observe a minutes silence at the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park
2/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
People pause for a minutes silence at Kings Cross Underground station in London, as Britain remembers the July 7 attacks amid a welter of warnings about the enduring and changing threat from terrorism a decade on
3/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
Members of staff working within the grounds observe a minutes silence to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the July 7 terrorist attacks at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
4/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
Police officers within the grounds observe a minutes silence to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the July 7 terrorist attacks at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
5/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
Representatives from 7 Company, Coldstream Guards and HQ London District join the national act of remembrance for the 7th July bombings 10th year anniversary beside the Ministry of Defence Main Building in central London and led by Rabbi Major Reuben Livingstone
6/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
People observe a nationwide minute's silence on the 10 year anniversary of the 7/7 London attacks which killed 52 people, facing in the direction of a plaque and flowers laid at the location of where a suicide bomber blew themselves up during the morning rush hour on a bus in Tavistock Square
7/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
George Psaradakis (centre), the driver of the number 30 bus which was blown up in Tavistock Square, looks at floral tributes left close to the scene of the bombings in London
8/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
People stop to observe a minute's silence at Aldgate underground station, in memory of the victims of the July 7 bombings
9/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
Flowers left by the July 7 memorial plaque at Aldgate Station, London, which names those who were killed in the bombings at the station
10/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
Members of various religious groups pray during a service in St Paul's Cathedral, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the London Bombings in London
11/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
Poppy petals fall from the roof during a service in St Paul's Cathedral, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the London Bombings in London
12/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
A police officer looks at flowers left at Kings Cross Underground station in London
13/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
Flowers left by the July 7 memorial plaque at Aldgate Station
14/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
Boris Johnson and David Cameron place wreathes at the July 7 memorial in Hyde Park, London
15/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
David Cameron and Boris Johnson take part in a wreath laying ceremony in London's Hyde Park, in memory of the 52 victims of the 7/7 London attacks
16/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
David Cameron and Boris Johnson during a ceremony at the memorial to the victims of the July 7, 2005 London bombings, in Hyde Park
17/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
From left: Paul Crowther, Chief Constable, British Transport Police, Adrian Leppard, Commissioner City of London Police, and Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, carry wreathes at the July 7 memorial in Hyde Park
18/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
People look at flowers left in Tavistock Square
19/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
7/7 survivor Gill Hicks (centre) arrives with flowers at Russell Square tube station
20/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
People embrace outside Edgware Road tube station, as Britain remembers the July 7 attacks
21/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
A lady carrying flowers leaves Russell Square tube station
22/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
Faith leaders promote religious unity in central London, as Britain prepares to mark 10th anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings in which 52 people were killed
23/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
Gill Hicks, (L) a survivor of the 7/7 London terror attacks, embraces police constable Andrew Maxwell outside Kings Cross Station in London, during an event to launch a walk by faith leaders promoting religious unity ahead of the anniversary of the attacks
24/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
A memorial dedicated to the 52 people that were killed during the 7/7 terror attacks in London is pictured in London's Hyde Park
25/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
The July 7 memorial in Hyde Park
26/26 7/7 bombings anniversary
A memorial dedicated to the 52 people that were killed during the 7/7 terror attacks in London is cleaned in London's Hyde Park
We have learned – or at least we should have – that seeing Islamist extremism purely as a reaction to what we do is fundamentally mistaken. Indeed that view – Western centric as it is – belittles the threat we face. It implies we can somehow opt out of this fight, that if we hide maybe they will leave us alone.
That view may be tempting but it is wrong. In foreign policy terms, the world is not divided into adults who act and children who react. Those who pursue the ideology of Isil are not children – they are responsible for their own actions, driven by their own ideology.
No one, no Western action, no policy that we pursue, forces anyone to kill innocent aid workers and post the film of the murder on the internet. No one forces anyone to kill innocent holiday makers on a beach in Tunisia. No one forced anyone to kill people on the London underground. The people who do these things are responsible for what they do.
If we have learned anything in the past 10 years it should be that this is not a battle of choice - it is a battle of necessity. We cannot run away from it. The Prime Minister has been right to term it a generational struggle. But definition must be matched by willing the means to fight it. That must be done ideologically, politically and with tougher means where necessary.
Our values are precious: the freedom to elect or kick out a government; the freedom to worship in different places; and the freedom that allows me as a woman to wear what I want, to choose any career that I want, and to love whom I want. These values are vital. They are part of us. And they are worth defending with everything we have.Reuse content