An East Tennessee college student traveling in Europe left London just hours before the terror attack on the London Bridge.
Rogersville native Cade Gibson set out to see the sites of England with his girlfriend and her family on his trip. They visited the Big Ben clock tower, Buckingham Palace and the London Bridge.
"It was just an American kid going to London kind of day I guess," Gibson said.
Gibson left the London area five hours before police say attackers drove a van into a crowd on the bridge and stabbed people at the Borough Market.
"My mom called me, and she was screaming, crying," he said. "She said please tell me you are safe, and I had no clue."
The incident left seven people dead and 48 others hurt.
"A five hour delay and that could have been me," Gibson said. "I could have been someone laying down on the bridge, or it could have been my girlfriend or one of her family members."
Gibson watched the aftermath unfold from his girlfriend's grandmother's home, a three hour train ride north of London.
"Kind of freaked us out a little bit, but we were both very thankful that we got out of there when we did," he said.
Gibson said he has seen the strength and resilience of the English people in the days since the attacks, but the images of what happened will forever be in his memory.
"Anything could have happened," Gibson said.
He said he will return to the US Thursday; and he said he knows his family in Rogersville is anxious to see him. For now, he is trying to remember the positive experiences he's had in the country. To him, the places he's seen so far represent a country with a longstanding history that isn't defined by these attacks.
"It's been awesome to see all the places here and see all the history," Gibson said. "I wouldn't trade anything about this trip."
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