Every Good Morning

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Wolfie has red bandages on his back legs, an incision near his groin (ahem), my wife hurt her back, a friend hurt her leg, I woke up from a recent medical test to be told by the nurse that the anesthesia used on me was the same that killed Michael Jackson, there is a rat the size of a beagle in the barn where I have been tending horses, and we are all waiting for Irene.

Wolfie will heal, my wife’s back is less painful, our friend no longer limps like Long John Silver, I’m not Michael Jackson, the rat’s days are numbered, but Irene is coming for us (the television media could not be more gleefully hysterical in their ominous warnings).

So maybe another perspective would be helpful right now.

The 71st anniversary of the Blitz is fast approaching.

On September 7, 1940, 348 German bombers and 600 Messerschmitt fighters attacked London. For 76 of the next 77 nights they returned. The final, bloodiest attack took place on May 10, 1941. The worst incident – 450 Londoners were killed in one strike when a bomb hit a school being used as an air raid shelter. Roughly 40,000 men, women and children were killed during the 8 months of attacks.

Ernie Pyle, war correspondent, described an attack in 1940:

It was a night when London was ringed and stabbed with fire.

They came just after dark, and somehow you could sense from the quick, bitter firing of the guns that there was to be no monkey business this night. Shortly after the sirens wailed you could hear the Germans grinding overhead. In my room, with its black curtains drawn across the windows, you could feel the shake from the guns. You could hear the boom, crump, crump, crump, of heavy bombs at their work of tearing buildings apart. They were not too far away. You have all seen big fires, but I doubt if you have ever seen the whole horizon of a city lined with great fires – scores of them, perhaps hundreds. There was something inspiring just in the awful savagery of it.

The Nazis did their worst for 245 nights. Irene will do her worst for about 36 hours. There may be some loss of life. There may be tragedies. Trees will come down. Roofs will fly off. The rivers will rise to mighty heights. We may be without electricity for days. There will be hardship, but ordinary people will rise to the occasion, small communities will form and help each other, and the light will return on Monday. We have our blessings and our strengths.

© Mike Wall

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