I have written about Leicester's war memorial before - it's aligned so that the sun will rise through it on November 11th - something I've wanted to see for the last five years but which the weather has never allowed. Even, or perhaps particularly, when it's blowing a gale and lashing with rain the war memorial is a moving place to find yourself at sunrise on a November morning, this one sits in on the edge of a large park next to Leicester university with a view down across the city and at 7 am everything conspires to make you contemplate the sacrifice it represents and your own mortality.
Today was a perfect sunrise, cold and frosty with a clear sky - it really was very beautiful. There was one other girl there waiting for the same thing we were, and a few dog walkers who didn't stop to look. I'm not sure if I'm grateful that we had that moment almost to ourselves or sorry that it wasn't more widely shared. I did think it a shame that the BBC vans coming to set up for the coming parade had arrived 20 minutes to late to see what we did.
Lyn at I Prefer Reading has posted a Wilfred Owen poem today - Futility - that is particularly apt to go with a sunrise, but there were other things that came to mind up there this morning whilst watching a couple of students stagger back home which were altogether more hopeful, and that's the power of the place - that it's both sombre and celebratory.