Friday, November 11, 2011

11.11.11.





The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. 

It is where we get the expression "at the eleventh hour" from.

It was the end of the most disastrous war in British history- a war that destroyed the flower of a generation, so that when the war was resumed only twenty years later, there were very few men in their forties left to lead. A war that destroyed centuries of careful husbandry, so that when the war was resumed, only twenty years later, the financial reserves were utterly exhausted, and the national reserve had became the national debt. A war that led to the break-up of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, so that London presided over a larger loss of the territory of the homeland and people, than Berlin did.

When they sang "I vow to thee my country", which was created in 1921 by matching the words written in 1908 with the beautiful music of Holst, the words:




The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

Were truly heartfelt- so many families had lost the next generation entirely.

At war memorials across Britain and the world, at 11.00 today there will be a silence. It seems the only appropriate response to such a catastrophe.

No comments: