Bomber Command

10.04.2009

I guess, being privileged to have a real life, living, breathing war hero in the family (in the shape of an ex.WW2 Lancaster pilot), that my perspective differs slightly from the norm – but it continually frustrates me how little attention we pay to those who fought for us in times still within living memory. Or what contempt we show for the relics which remain from those times. I know however that, whilst I may be in a minority, I’m far from alone.

I work with younger people and it staggers me how little some of them know about events in WW2. I sometimes wish I could sit them down with an ex bomber pilot, or a tail gunner and to make them realise that, quite often at a younger age than their own, these people set out to defeat the Nazis, all too often doing so in the expectation that they may never come home.

I don’t like the country I live in any more. I love the geography. I love the history. But the nation itself is consumed by this sad, anaemic liberalism which means that we seem to pay more attention to the views and rights of people covertly invading us than we do to those who died, or risked their lives to protect Britain and everything which it stood for.

I wish there was something we could do to reverse this trend but, sadly, I think it’s the case that WW2 is slipping from the collective consciousness – and the nation slipping into some sort of existential coma in the process. For those of you still breathing though, you could do worse than spend an hour watching these. The sad thing is, if the playstation generation were forced en masse to watch them and more like them, it would take very little to change the extent to which we remember and respect those involved.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=L5ABH7aOcxE

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=4qYRbOrqcSQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=O4fiDEUYsRw

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=RXKbLZIq814

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=55QeB8_u_VQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=x-FZ9ro9tvY

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=uLKL1nlFAJo

Imperial War Museum, Duxford

06.28.2009

From what I can remember, I must have been in my early teens when I last visited Duxford with my grandparents.

My grandfather is an ex.RAF bomber pilot, who flew Lancasters in WW2 and was awarded a DFC for his efforts returning home from bombing Peenemunde. In my teens, I enjoyed Duxford, but more in the sense that it was as good a way as any to pass a day, rather than somewhere I’d especially wanted to visit.

Returning 25 or so years later, I found it far more compelling. In the meantime, it has developed from an old WW2 airfield with some interesting artefacts into a vast, fascinating and highly polished museum – yet still retaining many of its old WW2 features.

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