See Profiles or Blog Stories

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Peril on the Wall

By:  Kathryn Vernon


My 21st century trainers walk along the 17th century wall making me wonder how many feet had walked here over these past 400 years and what those people had thought and felt.  After a day spent in lectures, learning the history of Northern Ireland, my mind was awhirl with thoughts of the struggles and troubles that I was trying to put into perspective.  The wall around the city of Derry/Londonderry has a history as varied as the people who have walked along it. 


The wall has only been open to the public for the last nine years – prior to that, during the troubles, the wall was a secure, restricted area.  Several views caught my eye – that of the cannons pointing toward guild hall and also toward the Peace Bridge.  The juxtaposition of the cannons facing the Peace Bridge makes one wonder if any others who have walked the wall had noticed the irony of a weapon of destruction pointing toward a bridge of peace meant to join two communities together. 

This irony brings to mind the countless situations around the world where peacekeepers are stationed ostensibly trying to enforce peace - yet just the word enforce is a contradiction to peace.  The views from the Derry wall are beautiful, but, oh, the irony of a cannon enforcing peace.  Although I know they are there so one never forgets what the people of this country have been through, it makes me think about how we are a people of contradictions - and we remember the peril on the wall.


No comments:

Post a Comment