Wednesday, June 2

Deadly history

A rather bizarre news story has prompted me to finally download photographs from my recent business trip to the USA. Yesterday three people were killed in central Germany while attemping to defuse a World War II bomb. Unexploded WWII bombs dropped by Allied planes are frequently found in Germany and in Britain, despite the war having ended 65 years ago. What, you ask, is the connection between this tragic incident and my latest travel photos?

While in the USA I visited the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a new extension of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. It's exhibits include the Enola Gay, the bomber from which the world's first atomic weapon used in combat was dropped on Hiroshima. As you stand under the nose of this polished metal aircraft it's hard to fathom its critical role in the death of almost 166,000 people, many of whom died within minutes of its deadly payload exploding.

Experiences like this and tragic stories like that in today's news remind me again and agin that history isn't a series of remote events. Last century's World Wars really did happen - and each bought incomprehensible death and destruction. This harsh reality always hits home when you live and travel in Europe.

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