It occurred to me once whilst I was World War 2 enactment last year that during the ‘minute’s silence’ (reflection on the irony of this event must be the subject of another blog!) that I had done this before.
The first time was for the 7/11 bombing in New York, I was on Victoria Station and at 11am Clock it just went silent, a few people carried on walking, but the bustling station just ‘stopped’ and it was as if the world had stopped just for a minute, a look of disgust given to those who were ‘too busy’ – and it was literally just one or two – how carried on walking and chatting because they were just too busy, on unconcerned about the moment. A time to reflect and a time to think about what had happened, a ‘stop’ as we considered the enormity of the devastation and the tragedy; a downloading of the horror of the event, a pause in the daily intake of information The silence was the same as that for the eclipse in 1999, a deathly hush that swept all before it
The second time was the death of the Queen Mother, a time of respect and of the events that had transpired in her life, two wars, marriages, divorces, bombing, and death, a time to mark the passing of the era. It was almost a moment to mark the passing of an era that had died with the Queen Mother, never to be regained again in a world that had raced on, where social hierarchy was based on breeding not wealth, that beggared respect for elders and ladies, that was polite was deferred to others, to the new one of ‘me’ and myself. One girl in the office, too young to remember the ‘old ways’ asking ‘what are you supposed to think about’ during the silence, again this was on the railway, and it stopped.
The third was last ‘Armistice Day’, and I stood silently at my desk I noticed that I was the only person, to some people the time had slipped by, busy in the moment, and in my job that in understandable, to others it seemed that the photocopying was more important. It was a moment that slipped by, unnoticed, the flow of information rushing all over, the minute lost.
A minute, 60 seconds, this time should be inconvenient, awkward, significant, it should make us stop for a minute, 60 second, to stop, ingest, and be a point in our day that is surrounded a constant rush, a moment to consider our priorities, our outlook, and remember.
One minute, sixty seconds …