Sunday, 13 November 2016

On the Cenotaph

Today is Remembrance Sunday, with the usual solemn ceremonies at the Cenotaph in London's Whitehall attended by the usual shifty cohort of public figures and, as every year, my eyes will prick and smart when the band plays Elgar's sad and lovely Nimrod

I learned only recently that Lutyens' noble design for the Cenotaph has a remarkable, little-known feature - the sides are not parallel but, if extended vertically, would meet at a point 980 feet (300 m) above the ground, the place, if you like, where heaven begins. 

Edwin Lutyen's original design for the Cenotaph

Fewer folk these days wear a poppy than in the past, and they have their reasons. I wear one because I believe it's proper to commemorate and honour the war dead. But I also want to offset the ethical carbon footprint of unpleasant public figures who sport poppies without humility, grace or understanding. 

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