Living in Ireland, it is hard to ignore the momentous events taking place in our country at the moment.
An Irish army officer at the President’s residence, announces Queen Elizabeth II – ”Banríon Eilís a Dó”.
A short time later, an Irish military band plays ‘God Save The Queen, the British national anthem. The location is one of the most iconic sites in Ireland – the Garden of Remembrance, dedicated to the memory of those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom. The President of Ireland and the British Monarch ascend the 22 steps to the memorial sculpture to lay wreaths.
The Queen steps forward to lay her wreath. She steps back, then bows her head in respect for those who died for freedom – died fighting against her country. It is a poignant moment.
The one minute’s silence that follows is intense and emotional; it brings a tear to many watching -whether present or watching on television. Kathy Sheridan in the Irish Times wrote: ”a host of old ghosts, dear and gentle, fierce and austere, hovered around a small, elderly woman, dressed in pretty ivory and sage, standing in homage before a sculpture inspired by the legend of the tragic Children of Lir and Yeats’s Easter 1916 ”
It was indeed a symbolism beyond words.