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Hallo again to all.

It has been another week of global news none of us can ignore: a record-breaking hurricane centered at Houston, flooding in Cornwall, disastrous floods (with minimal coverage in western media) in Bangladesh, Nepal, and India. The Korean peninsula remains a flashpoint of extraordinary concern. The demise of the Islamic State continues elsewhere. We hold all of these things on our hearts, some of them with the names and needs of friends attached to them, and we hope against hope for good outcomes.

We've watched a quieter situation with some interest, namely the defusing of a 4,000 pound bomb in Frankfurt, likely dropped by the Royal Air Force in 1944 or 1945. At a remove of 70 years, the ordnance was deemed still powerful enough to merit the evacuation of 60,000 persons from their homes near Goethe University. All things seem to have gone safely, but the longevity of sky-dropped destruction sticks in our minds as a topic to which persons in North America pay little attention.

The matter of unexploded ordnance—from the First World War, the Second one, and from land mines in Afghanistan, Angola, Belarus, Bosnia, Cambodia, Croatia, Georgia, Iraq, Laos, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Vietnam—is present enough even in communities where wars have ceased but their aftermath remains. About every 15 minutes some person is injured by weaponry either buried in the ground, or that failed to explode on its initial impact.

Frankfurt's seventy-year delay this week reminded us of the longue durée of war: its physical, cultural, and emotional impacts, and the ongoing work of UXO units who labour even a century after the official close of a conflict. We are thankful at the end of a long week for the work of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and thankful, too, for the apparently easy end of the RAF 'street-clearer' in Frankfurt. Given the numbers of materiel dropped from the sky, we know there will be many more such events even in the twenty-first century.

This puts us all in reflection that one generation's warfare too often—nearly always—results in another generation's evacuations, maiming, recovery operations, unexpected explosions, impeded construction, dangerous renovations, and the like. With this week's Frankfurt in our mind, we hope for a tilt in a new direction and another country:

And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.

See you next week.

Our Signatures

Richard Mammana


All of us at Anglicans Online

3 September 2017

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