The Postman’s Park

“Traveling leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” — Ibn Battuta

Yesterday was filled with awe, wonder, and a rocking musical called “Sunny Afternoon”.

One tiny snippet from the day….

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We found Postman’s Park, tucked in between two buildings in a bustling area of the City. Here, workers  from the nearby offices escape the commotion of the streets to eat their Pret a Manger take-away while soaking in the quiet and the fresh air.

This little park offers more than a peaceful respite, however. In 1900, a philanthropist and painter, George Frederick Watts, founded the Watts Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice. On a wall under a wood canopy are the glazed Doulton tablets that remember and honor the everyday people who gave their lives to save others.

The wall of memorials is heart-wrenching. Each tablet describes the tragic death of an individual who acted spontaneously to protect or save another.

Elizabeth, age 17, saved a child from a runaway horse.

Alice rescued three children from a burning building.

Solomon prevented his little brother from being run over on a commercial street.

George rescued two from a fire in The Elephant and The Castle, then went back in to find the barmaid from the flames.

Each name made me wonder… what kind of person was he? Or she? Who did he or she leave behind? Did Solomon’s little brother cry each night because his brother was no longer there? Did he bear lifelong guilt as a result of Solomon’s heroic act? Did George leave behind a bereft widow and children? Did Elizabeth have a sweetheart who mourned her? As I read, a lump formed in my throat as I imagined theheartache and grief of the survivors.

We hear about random acts of kindness, and here was something more… random acts of love and courage.

 

 

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