Beautifully Quiet

In Flanders FieldsAt the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, of the eleventh year of this century, Ringwood stopped for a reverential two minutes to remember the dead of two world wars and subsequent conflicts. It was truly moving.

The office was quiet, everyone was deep in contemplation, but I was determined not to be disturbed by an errant phone call or the ping of an incoming email, so I went out into the car park alone and watched the stream slide slowly, silently by.

All a bit melodramatic you might think, but if we can’t spare two minutes out of a whole year, there really is no hope for us as a nation. It really was very quiet. A memorial service was being held at the war memorial and at eleven o’clock they fired a cannon to signify the start of the silence.

The boom startled a large flock of starlings in the flood plain on the other side of the Bickley Mill stream and they rose and fell as they wheeled across a grey and rather sad sky. And as I watched them, I noticed that I was peering through loops of barbed wire atop the perimeter fence. Rather fitting for such an occasion.

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