This morning I watched the funeral celebration for Queen Elizabeth II. The pageantry, the history, the dignity was magnificent. And yet, with all of that - what created the emotional outpouring from British and world citizens alike was how she is remembered. She was the people's Queen. She is remembered with love and gratitude.
One speaker said, “We can honor her memory by following her example.” The examples included kindness, hope, civility, service, loyalty, and duty. Another speaker said she followed the age-old challenge; ‘render to no one evil for evil.’ It occurred to me if more of our leaders practiced just one of these attributes, many of today’s grim problems would be softened or solved.
I grew up in England and was 13 when WWII ended. At that age not a lot got my attention, except sports and staying alive. My sister Eileen, however, was old enough to join the Women’s Land Army (WLA) and served during the same period as then Princess Elizabeth served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS). Her description of Queen Elizabeth was decency and dignity.
My sister Kathleen was presented two Churchill Medals by Queen Elizabeth, in Buckingham Palace; the first in 1974, the second 50 years later in 2014. Her words for the Queen were kindness, graciousness and gratitude.
I was living in Chicago when Elizabeth became Queen in 1952; and stood on the sidewalk in Chicago in June 1953 watching her Coronation through a shop window. Not many televisions in those days.
It’s been quite a journey for Her Majesty. Yet never once has she veered from her promise to the British people which was ‘throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.’
What a life. What a woman. What a legacy. What an example.
How will you be remembered?
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