Yesterday was Remembrance Day, or Veteran’s Day as it is known in the US. I chose to go and sing in the street in Kettering, Northants. I set my alarm on my ‘smart’ phone for 11am, so as to be sure to observe the customary 2 minutes silence at that time.
I glanced at my phone some 10 seconds early, and turned off the alarm as I leant my guitar against a nearby tree. Turning to see how people in the fairly busy market were behaving, I could see that most people had come to a halt, some it seemed frozen mid-action, and a definite hush had descended on the town. To be sure, some people carried on regardless, apparently oblivious of the stillness around them. Mostly though, small groups, couples and single figures alike remained still and absorbed in silent reflection.
A small group of pigeons were bustling around each other in front of the town hall. At almost exactly 11.02am, a white dove swooped in low across the square and landed among the pigeons. A second later, a trader shouted, “…apples 49p a pound…”, and everyone resumed talking and moving.
None of us could have scripted such a scene.