Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Childhood Innocence

I was looking through some photos yesterday and came across one of the Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen) which is supposed to be a monument to all those who died in the civil war in Spain but is actually more of a tribute to Franco who is buried there. It was constructed by the forced labor of Republicans who fought against fascism and now stands as a sort of de facto declaration that Spain has never really come to terms with its Fascist past. It is depressing that while a brutal murderer like Franco still lies in an honored place, those who really fought and died for freedom remain in such obscurity.

This reminded me of a funny anecdote that I once read concerning the illimitable Charles Lamb. It seems that when Charles was a young boy he was walking through the churchyard with his sister Mary who was some ten years his senior. Charles was reading the gravestones which praised and lauded each person who was buried there. He innocently asked his older sister ;“Mary, where are all the naughty people buried?” 

By the way, for those who want to see where Charles Lamb (who was not naughty at all) is buried, see this link http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/lamb.htm

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