Memorials and Remembrance

School of Social Sciences members Lily Hamourtziadou and Maram Abdulkader wrote the following blog after visiting the Birmingham Pub Bombing memorial at New Street Station.

Memorial 1200x450 - Pub Bombing Memorial at New Street Station

Jane was 17 when she died on November 21st 1974 in Birmingham.

Mark, Craftsman, died on June 8th 1982 in the Falklands.

Their names stir our memory, but what do we remember, when we remember Jane? What do we remember, when we remember Mark? Do we remember that she wanted to be a nuclear physicist, or that he was brave?

Do their names recall and acknowledge the damage done? Are they made human, immortal, or casualties of some brutality?

Whose brutality?

Memorial Post 1 - Memorial plaque

What a strange feeling it is to walk through the streets of a place that was once a symbol of terror and immense sorrow. The sense of relief that you are in a safer and better environment consumes your thoughts; but is quickly diminished. Who is to say that the same thoughts did not consume the minds of the victims that were killed in the Birmingham pub bombings? Acts of terror do not take into consideration age or gender, nor human life in general.

Memorial Post 2 - Wreath

‘Lest we forget’, says the wreath of poppies;

‘We will remember them’;

‘See to it that they shall not have suffered and died in vain’;

‘Thank you’…

And perhaps we think of all those still dying in just and unjust wars. Normal people, victims of legal and illegal armies sacrificed by what some may call necessary killers.

Memorial Post 3 - Rememberance book

Acts of terror do not only harm victims, but also cause a long lasting ripple effect of fear and trauma to their families and those present at the time. To remember them is the least we can do. For they were passing humans, just like us.

Memorial Post 4 - Memorial plaque