This post was written on 17th but I have only just had time to put it on the blog today.
I was working in the vegetable garden today when I heard two military helicopters come flying down the valley: they were followed a few moments later by a bomber.
My legs turned to jelly, and silly old woman that I am, I felt very tearful and afraid. It was the shape, the low rumble of engines, the vibrations and the potential. Also the history.photo from www.shropshirelive.com
I was not born in the Second World War but I was born in London a few years afterwards. In my youth I took the bombed out buildings and bomb sites that surrounded me, even seven years after the end of the war, for granted. My parents told me stories of living through the Blitz and took me to see Newsreels at the Cinema. Especially of the relief of Belsen. I was only six years old but they said I must always remember. They never blamed a Nation or a Nationality: they just said that all it took for evil to succeed was stupidity, complacency and lack of action by the rest of us.
Today, I live on the top of a hill near the Derwent Reservoirs in Derbyshire where the Dambusters practised their bouncing bombing techniques.
Today was the Seventieth Anniversary of their raid on Dams in the Ruhr in Germany. I don’t want to go into the political reasons for this raid, or all the differing views of the necessity of this action.www.itv.com
But as the bomber flew over my head, very low, it felt very real. I just thought of all who had died, both in the water released by the breaching of the Dams and the airmen who flew the mission, and War in general. I was moved to tears by the pain, suffering, loss of life and fear. The geese were terrified of the dark object with outstretched wings which cast a shadow. We do not only terrorise humans, but the whole animal and natural kingdom.
I was reminded of the Report by one of our Foreign Correspondents on the BBC last year when the Reporter mentioned the sight he had witnessed in a village in Africa: when planes came over firing on the villagers, the animals all raced for cover, they were so used to the fighting they had learned to take shelter at once.
As the Bomber flew over I felt proud and ashamed both at the same time. What a strange species we are.