We went to Derry this weekend; it's in Northern Ireland and only ten miles away. Unlike a couple of decades ago, now there are no border guards. In fact, we had a hard time finding where the division between Ireland and Northern Ireland is.
Derry is a historic city; its origins incased in a historic wall, early 1600's, sometimes 26 feet high and 30 feet wide. Although it was attacked many times, its walls were never breeched.
This is a complex county. We are just beginning to understand the strife this country has had, through its own revolution, its divisional separation from England, and its internal struggles. The remnants of this were apparent in Derry, where much of the violent demonstration of conflict occurred in the latter part of the 20th century.
Although the violence abated several decades ago, in Derry, where much of the conflict happened (Derry is 80% Catholic), reminders of the angst abound. Thirty foot murals continue to remind people of the past strife.
I can't help but wonder what the children who are visually inundated daily must be thinking.
There are, however, signs of reconciliation:
And on another positive note, recently, a symbolic bridge was constructed across the River Foyle, one noted for it architectual innovation and called the Peace Bridge.