WINSTON CHURCHILL was remembered at Westminster Abbey on Friday
in a service marking 50 years since his state funeral.
It concluded a day of events across the country celebrating the
war-time Prime Minister, whom David Cameron described as a "great
Briton" to whom the United Kingdom owed a "debt of gratitude".
Mr Cameron attended a remembrance service at the Houses of
Parliament on Friday
He recalled the "vast silent crowds" of 30 January 1965 and
concluded that, today, "the sheer brilliance of Winston Churchill
He said: "If there is one aspect of this man I admire more than
any other - it is Churchill the patriot. He knew Britain was not
just a place on the map but a force in the world, with a destiny to
shape events and a duty to stand up for freedom."
The boat that carried Churchill's coffin along the Thames, the
Havengore, repeated its original journey from the Tower of London
to Westminster, where wreaths were laid in the waters. Tower
Bridge was also raised in his honour.
At Westminster Abbey a wreath was laid at the green-marble
memorial stone that commemorates Sir Winston.
BBC Parliament broadcasted the BBC's original coverage of the
funeral, remastered, with timings to match those of the day
From the Church
Churchill, an instrument in the hand of God
SO NOW Winston Churchill belongs to the ages, his long
course finished, his last victory won. After all the ups and downs
of fame and fortune which marked his career of phenomenal service
to his Sovereign, his country and the world, his proud place in
history is as secure as that of any man in Britain's annals. The
unique place which he held in the hearts of men has been proved by
the flood of eloquent tributes (among which the broadcast by the
Prime Minister was outstanding) which have poured forth in the
Press and on the air this week. . .
No one now living can remember anything quite like the
national honours paid to this extraordinary man on his death. But
then there has been no one quite like him for longer than anyone
can remember. Behind all the pomp and circumstance of this week's
ceremonies lie the emotions of which they are the outward symbol.
There is sheer gratitude for all that Winston Churchill did in the
dark days when Britain once again, under his inspiration, saved
herself by her exertions and the world by her example. There is
deep admiration for his magnanimity of character, for his ability
to pluck victory out of the heart of defeat, for the way in which
he treated the two impostors, personal triumph and disaster, as the
same. Above all there is the intuitive feeling that, in a sense
shared only by the greatest Sovereigns, here was a man who had
become identified with his country. There were times when Churchill
not only spoke for Britain. He was Britain.
The Church can lay no special claim to him. But the
prophets of old would have seen nothing at all strange in the
belief that he was an instrument in the hand of the Living God for
the purposes of his providence, and that God is to be praised for
all that Winston Churchill was inspired to do and say and write in
the cause of freedom, righteousness and peace.
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