Harrods Department Store, the epitome of British opulence

Harrods Department Store, the epitome of British opulence

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Give it Back
My page has a photo showing the flag of Ghana flown on the campus leading to Buckingham Palace with Big Ben in the background. it’s just three days after Ghana celebrated their 50th year of independence and Willy and I are taking great joy in finding this little bit of Ghana in London.

Later on during our visit we toured the Tower of London. That was our most truly “tourist-y” undertaking. The preserved history is truly magnificent and there is a lot to be learned from the British respect for their past. However, much of the celebration at the Tower dwells on weaponry, the tortures of the dungeons and long imprisonments for government and religious dissenters. And it wasn’t done with apology. In fact we walked by a docent giving a very gory and Saturday Nigh Live-ish acount of what it was like to the hung, drawn and quartered. Our Tower tour included an exhibit on the Crown Jewels, including massive amounts of gold and many spectacular gems with names like the Star of Africa 1 and Star of Africa 2. Willy’s wry comment to me was “isn’t it about time to give this stuff back to the people they stole it from?” A good question. I’m sure India, Ghana, Nigeria and many others would appreciate the gesture.

Think of this in the context of the new park and monument being erected on Bainbridge Island to help us never forget the abysmal way we treated our neighboring citizens of Japanese ancestry with their interment during World War II. To err his human. To forgive is devine. To apologize (repent) is that important stepping stone from one to the other.

The ubiquitous London pubs.

The ubiquitous London pubs.