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Back to normal by Christmas! Brave words from the UK Prime Minister in early September but even as he spoke, it seemed unlikely, and now we know that ‘it’ won’t be over by Christmas. “Hands, Face, Space” – three words that now dominate every activity!

Globally, nearly a million people have lost their lives to Covid-19, of these
approximately one-fifth are Americans. Jennifer Nuzzo, a public health researcher
at Johns Hopkins put it in context “The [US] death toll from coronavirus is
equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 67 days, and roughly equal to the population of Salt Lake City in Utah”.

It is also roughly equal to the City of Southampton – from where so many have set
off across the Atlantic for a new life, holidays, business and now, for the pleasure
of a transatlantic crossing on the Cunard liner Queen Mary 2.

Titanic left Southampton on April 10, 1912, bound for New York. She sank on April 15 after striking an iceberg. In May, Canadian ships were chartered to look for bodies and victims were brought to Halifax in Nova Scotia. About two-thirds were identified and 150 are buried in Halifax. 121 are at Fairview Lawn Cemetery, a very peaceful place where they are forever remembered.

The 5BFTS cadets left Glasgow or Liverpool rather than Southampton but most arrived at Halifax. Letters record the kindness and generosity of people in Halifax,
a place of refuge after a wartime sea crossing. Many would later die fighting for their country, a small number compared with the 70-85 million people (including
civilians) who died during WW2, but each one an individual.

WW2 changed their world – Covid is changing our world. Every day, we hear the latest number of confirmed cases and the deaths. So many people have died, and it is easy to think of them as a number – but each is a person, an individual whose
premature death is mourned by their family. Normally, we remember all those who were at 5BFTS, in whatever capacity, at Arcadia on Memorial Day. Except for this year, when Covid meant the cancellation of the Annual British Memorial Day Service – for the first time in 64 years.

As I said in March, I hope those of you reading this are safe and, if vulnerable or have signs and symptoms of Covid-19, are well cared for. If you have lost
someone close to Covid, please accept my condolences and sympathy. With love, prayers and best wishes to you all.

‘Their efforts to preserve the freedom of the world were not in vain and will
never be forgotten’



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