Thursday, 3 September 2009
A declaration of war
Seventy years ago today the British public tuned in to what must still rank as one of the most chilling radio broadcasts ever - Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's declaration of war between Britain and Germany that followed the latter's invasion of Poland two days earlier. The resulting six year conflict was the deadliest in the history of warfare.
It's hard to imagine what it must have been like to listen to the broadcast for the very first time, not knowing what the horrors that were to come would be. The Prime Minister's lament that "the long struggle to win peace" had failed would have resonated profoundly with a people who had already experienced the horrors of a 'global' war in Europe barely two decades before.
Sadly, with every year that passes, fewer and fewer witnesses of the war remain to remind us of that painful time in recent history. That we continue to remember, reflect and learn from the tragedies of the past can only help to better inform the people of the future.