That momentous meeting between Sir Winston and his Maker occurred 43 years ago today as the world relinquished and Heaven reclaimed the mighty soul of Sir Winston Churchill. Never one to allow mere mortality to get in the way of a grand entrance, Sir Winston had of course prepared for the occasion in his inimitable fashion, with a plan he dubbed, “Operation Hopenot.”
“I want lots of soldiers and bands,” he had instructed his funeral administrators, lead among whom was no less than the Queen herself. He had his soldiers and bands, and then some, in an affair of pageantry, pomp, ceremony, and tradition scarcely paralleled before or since. (We strongly recommend your reading this exquisite accounting of the event from the 5 February, 1965 issue of TIME magazine; a once factual and well-written publication.).
Times have changed since Sir Winston’s passing. One is tempted to expound on the devolution of Western culture that began seemingly minutes after his demise. How buried with him, it seems, was also the reverence we once knew for honor, nobility, duty, courage, chivalry, and bold individualism; virtually all of that replaced now with sensationalism, socialism, entitlement mentality, and the cult of perpetual puberty. One could expound on that, (and we regularly do!), but not now.
We shall instead reserve this space for some words from our dear friend General Dwight D. Eisenhower who eulogized Sir Winston at his grand funeral. The General saw, as do so many of us, how unique and significant a gift to the world was the presence of Sir Winston Churchill, a presence which death could diminish only slightly.
“To those men Winston Churchill was Britain,” explained Ike, referring to British and America soldiers during World War II. “He was the embodiment of British defiance to threat, her courage in adversity, her calmness in danger, her moderation in success.”
Later Ike speaks of the friendship, both personal and national, between Sir Winston and he; Britain and America.
“The war ended, our friendship flowered in the later and more subtle tests imposed by international politics. Then, each of us, holding high official posts in his own nation, strove together so to concert the strength of our two peoples that liberty might be preserved among men and the security of the free world wholly sustained.”