Fifty years ago today, Winston Churchill was laid to rest. I had just turned 8 years old the week before. It was a Saturday so I was home from school. I have no idea if the entire funeral was televised in the US or if I just remember seeing it on the news. But I clearly remember watching as his flag draped coffin made it’s way through the streets of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral and a banging noise in the background (which I was to learn much later was a drum).
I was sad because I knew someone had died. After all, I was only 6 when our president had been assassinated two years before and saw what his children had gone through. Caroline was the same age as me. I didn’t know who this man was but I knew he must have been loved as there were so many people lining the streets who were crying. My mother explained to me that he was half American and had been the leader in England during World War II. Even at that young age I was already starting to develop my love of history.
Little did I know so long ago, how much I would come to admire this man. I have read his six books on the history of World War II and almost every biography of him I can get my hands on (and I’m slowly working my way through reading all 74 books he has written). My husband even gave me an old copy of one of his books for Christmas this year.
He was not perfect by any means, but oh he was a great man! How I wish there were more men like him today that didn’t waver from speaking their mind, and doing what they know to be right, no matter the cost.
Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”