|A Tube passenger, Davinia Douglass, leaving Edgware Road |
tube station, supported by Paul Dadge, eight years ago today
[Image Source: Edmond Terakopian/PA]
I had a sense of what was meant, though never looked into its origin until this morning. Those were simpler times, and it turns out that "Lest we forget" is part of the refrain of a poem, "Recessional", by Rudyard Kipling. It was composed for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and carries with it both religious and nationalistic notes. But then it became, as we would call it today, repurposed:
It introduces the reason for the entreaty expressed in the poem: that God might spare England from oblivion or profanity "lest we forget" the sacrifice of Christ ("Thine ancient sacrifice").
The phrase later passed into common usage after World War I across the British Commonwealth especially, becoming linked with Remembrance Day observations; it came to be a plea not to forget past sacrifices, and was often found as the only wording on war memorials, or used as an epitaph [Wikipedia]
But in a larger sense, one which ought to be impacting on the lives of many, it is the 8th anniversary of 7/7, the day on which London's underground train system became, for a moment, the battlefield in the ongoing war between the dark forces of jihadism and civilized society.
|Michael Stanley Brewster||52|
|David Graham Foulkes||22|
|Colin William Morley||52|
|Jennifer Vanda Nicholson||24|
|Rachell Chung For Yuen||27|
Brief bios and photos can be seen on the BBC's comprehensive "7 July London bombings" page. It's refreshing, though quite saddening, to see that the BBC makes an exception to its misguided organization-wide rule to avoid the use of the word of "terror" and "terrorist" (essentially for reasons of not wishing to be excessively judgmental) and accurately refers on that site to the 2005 murders by a gang of British Islamists as
one of the worst terrorist atrocities in Britain