There’s a truly obvious theme that you’d have to be blind not to notice in any visit to London. The legacy of the UK’s many wars. In Mexico, there’s really only been a few wars of note. You can count them on one hand and still have a finger or two to spare. In London, a coach load of visitors would soon run out of digits adding up the statues, memorials and other monuments to battles of days gone by. Two World Wars, the Boer War, Trafalgar, Waterloo, Crimea, the 100 Year War….it’s a seemingly endless list. To be fair, England has had 1000 years plus to tally up its long list.
Paola is, I think, beginning to grasp the sheer scale of British conflict, past and present. I’m not convinced that any other nation over the last millenia quite compares. She hasn’t been through Remembrance Day yet. She has seen videos of British troops in Afghansitan and Iraq. And old videos such as the Iranian Embassy Siege. yesterday we watched a programme about Royal Wootten Bassett, which is well worth watching.
It produces a conundrum. It’s difficult not to be proud, inspired and awed by the soldiers of the British Army, the airmen of the RAF and the sailors of the Royal Navy. It’s equally difficult not to be impressed by the global achievements, campaigns and empire of such a tiny island. At the same time, it’s difficult to comprehend the political insanity, inhumanity and greed that accompanied them.