Steve's reflections on life

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National Treasure
So sad to hear of the passing of Dame Vera Lynn at the ripe old age of 103. The ‘Forces Sweetheart’ sang and performed to lift the spirits of our brave boys, as she called them, throughout the years of World War Two. She demonstrated extraordinary grit being dropped by the armed forces close to the frontline of battle in several theatres of war across Africa and Asia.

Dame Vera was taken into the hearts of the British people during the titanic struggle to fend off invasion and the threat to democracy. Beyond the battlefields over the sea she would entertain Londoners in the underground stations as they took refuge from the bombing of the East End during the Blitz. Very few people are legitimately described as a ‘national treasure’ but Vera Lynn is most certainly one of them. She will be missed by many.

In these days of lockdown and political bickering as the scourge of racism raises its ugly head, it’s good to remember someone of genuine goodness and self-sacrifice. I read an account that told the story of how Dame Vera Lynn was one of only a few artists who performed for Jewish refugee children. She sang with a well know orchestra to raise much needed money to fund their evacuation out of Germany and repatriate them to safer locations. Farewell to the Forces Sweetheart.

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