Manchester England experienced an horrific terrorist attack Monday evening May 22nd. I have been watching the live coverage on Sky News to stay informed on the aftermath of this tragedy.
Tuesday evening local UK time a vigil was held in the center of Manchester with civil and religious leaders gathered to share a few words. Poet Tony Walsh read a poem about Manchester and quoted Hubert Parry’s Jerusalem – commonly referred to as the unofficial anthem of England. Jerusalem is much like God Bless America – often sung before our nation anthem or in times of turmoil here in the USA – and known by all.
There are several versions of the song from the traditional style one would expect Queen Elizabeth to have on her playlist to a very jazzy version done my Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The one that stands out for me is from the soundtrack of Chariots of Fire with the song being sung in a church. Interestingly enough, Jerusalem includes the phrase Chariots of Fire in its lyrics.
I had the privilege of going TDY (Temporary Duty) in the Fall of 1983 as a young Airman and have returned for several other trips, the last in 2000. I always felt at home in the UK, having been to Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and England during my various travels. I am of the Heinz 57 Variety with ancestry from several countries including England and Ireland. I was able to blend in and recall being asked for directions while roaming around the beautiful City of Cambridge. I will return someday soon and sadly may find it very different than my last journey there.
I wanted to get my thoughts out and published here – I’ll add photos later.
Tune in next time:
Something that caught my attention watching the Sky News coverage was the use of the phrase Minute of Silence. I have always heard it called a Moment of Silence. Perhaps I just discovered yet another difference between the USA and our English-speaking friends across the pond. More on this later. (Americans are in too much of a hurry!)