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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Out and About: Animal War Memorial-Reagan Memorial-Tyburn Convent

This past July 4th, I was out and about.  I had decided to go see the Reagan memorial, as well as the Tyburn Convent.  Between those two points in the fairly wide median strip in Park Lane (the road that runs along the right hand side of Hyde Park) there is a wonderful and touching Animal War Memorial.  Most visitors to London know of the Cenotaph, where a wreath to honor the fallen is laid by the Queen or her representative each November 11th.    But many visitors are unaware of the Animal War Memorial - it's a nice tribute to various animals that have also served, dogs, donkeys etc. Apparently in WWI alone some 8 MILLION horses, donkeys, mules had died in service, along with some 100,000 carrier pigeons.   Endearingly, poppy wreaths are also laid there.     This memorial is just south of the Marble Arch, and the Speaker's Corner on Brook Gate, the most northern place to cross on the Park Lane median.

Somewhat irritatingly, it's only marked on my small A-Z Visitors' Atlas & Guide.   Quite easy to miss if you just have a regular sized A-Z, because it's not showing on either the standard A-Z or the wire bound more detailed mini-pocket A-Z that most London residents have.

The memorial runs for the width of the median.

Not far from the War Memorial is the US embassy on the west side of Grosvenor Square.    On the SW corner of the square stands the relatively new Reagan Memorial.

Sadly, some pinhead spray painted some green crap at the base of the statue.  There is also a nice bronze plaque and encased bit of the Berlin wall nearby. The plaque has a lot of nice quotes from people regards the freedom garnered by Reagan's bold moves of not accepting the status quo.  Thatcher, John Paul II, Lech Walesa are quoted praising Reagan for his championing and actively working for the freedom of Eastern Europe.  This is just a small portion of that plaque.    You can see a bit of the concrete wall.

For anyone clueless about Reagan's contribution to freeing millions from the yoke of Communist oppression in Eastern Europe, read this excellent Time Magazine article how Reagan, with the collaboration of the Vatican, achieved this goal.

About 150-200 yards west of Marble Arch, along Bayswater Road,  is the Tyburn Convent.  The nuns there are dedicated to Eucharistic Adoration.  Very near the spot was the Tyburn Gallows.  Some 105 Catholic Martyrs were executed there for their defense of the faith.   You may see an exhibit of the relics on the 1st Sunday of each month in the afternoon, and get a lecture on the history of the covent and also of the martyrs .  A sister is available for guided tours of the shrine daily at 10:30, 3:30 and 5:30.

If you're in the area, these places are worth a look, and all within easy walking distance of each other.

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