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Is It Time To Leave The War Behind?

People may be weary of the constant anniversaries connected with the war, but it is important that the younger generation knows what happened to Coventry 60 years ago.

In a week that a national survey revealed that fewer and fewer young people can even name Sir Winston Churchill as a pre-1945 Prime Minister, it is vital that new ways are found to make recent history accessible.

And for children growing up in this city, pictures of the old cathedral before it was a ruin, of Hertford Street and the rest of the city centre before it was invaded by concrete are a way of doing that.

The project to record the memories of the generation that endured the bombing is a worthy one, as it will make sure these memories are kept forever.

The 60th anniversary of the bombing of Coventry will be a dignified attempt to keep in touch with the past.

But care should be taken to make sure that we do not live in it. The world has moved on lot in the last 60 years, and this country has always been one of the most backward-looking.

Coventry has always had a reputation of being a city that can survive and re-invent itself, and since the war it has done just that.

Perhaps it is time, as the Dunkirk survivors decided, to draw a line under the constant commemoration of something that happened almost a lifetime ago.

If that choice is taken, as it will have to be sooner or later, an effort must be made to ensure that future generations are not ignorant of the trauma that scarred the ordinary people of this city. Forgiving and moving on is quite different from forgetting.


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CWN / Comment / 30 Oct 00
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