Friday, July 08, 2005

London's Calling

"We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. . . . And if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our empires beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, will carry on the fight, until in God’s own time the new world in its power and might steps forth to the rescue and liberation of the old." Winston Churchill

That’s gotta be nice to read in times of strife.

So, the terrorists attack a country that used to be the World’s only super power and is now essentially an amusement park. Why give them an excuse to re-flex their muscles? Anyone want to take an over/under on how long before they track down the hole these people are in. It took them a week in Spain. I’ll give them four days here.

I have a special affinity for London having spent the best vacation of my life there. The King’s Cross area is familiar to me as we stayed in that working-class neighborhood. We saw all the obvious sights, spent far too little time in the British Museum, road-tripped to Stonehenge and Bath, and had some fantastic food, destroying that myth. The best times we had though, were hanging out in the neighborhood pub, shooting pool with Irish girls and their fellas who were just making a living in the big city. The City is always on alert. Signs are in all the pubs and other community venues warning patrons to be on the lookout for unattended packages. When entering the Tower of London, a young English security force member diligently searched my bag and then ran a wand over it. Trying to be the funny American, I asked, “Germ free?” With the faintest glimmer of mirth, she replied, “I don’t know about that sir, but it is bomb free.” “Yes, ma’am. Thank you very much,” was all I could come with in response to that.

They have been preparing for this for years. In the not too distant past, explosions were a regualr part of life. I expected stoicism and all that from the English in response to this new threat which they have exhibited. What I do not expect is to see a repeat of the Spanish reaction. There will be no British troops leaving Iraq anytime soon. The ghost of Neville Chamberlain may still be around but, in times of strife, Winston’s ghost chomps on a fresh cigar, adjusts his hat, pulls out the pocket-watch and goes to work.

Everybody go check out Luke. He’s a local Carolina boy made good in London and has some fresh shots up of the recovering city. Also be sure to check out his travel logs These are the beginning of blogging and should prompt some of us to shake up our lives.

Peace be with you.

7/9/05--Luke's site is down right now for some reason. Check it out when it gets back up.

1 comment:

Easycure said...

Having lived in England for 2 years, I can tell you firsthand that all this does is make them that more resolute. And they were already hard to the core. Great trait they have.....they make us hard-working Americans seem aloof at times.