Thursday, June 7, 2012


A family enjoys the festivities near the London Eye.
The Diamond Jubilee signified the Queen's sixty year reign over the Monarchy, but with it came a joyful commemoration that surpassed merely honoring the lifetime achievement of one woman. The Jubilee was a microcosm of events, as the celebration of the Queen's reign evoked an ethos of national pride and unity, that above all saw a people unite in celebration not just for the Queen, but for country.

As a student of history, I first and foremost saw the Jubilee as one of tremendous historical significance. Sixty years of rule is quite a long time, and with it transpired an event suitable for a Queen, especially for, at the very least, a monarchy reaching the end of an era. The streets were flooded with red, white, and blue, that from a distance resembled an enormous Fourth of July celebration, but were not the colors of an American flag, but of the British Union Jack. The atmosphere of the British people, their love for the Queen, and their national pride made even myself, a natural born American, share in the same love for my mother country--for a few days, I felt like one of them.

For the duration of the Jubilee, people put aside their differences, and for myself and others, our national identity, and showed reverence for a woman, and for a country in complete solidarity. To me, it seemed very much like an exercise in community building and strengthening, that for a few days, or maybe even just a few hours, people were able to unite and celebrate for a common cause indifferent to political bias and of territorial borders. It was truly an amazing spectacle. All of these events led me to think of how important a strong community is for a nation, especially one with a rich history like Britain. The only time I had ever been to a comparable rally was during the Occupy Wall Street protests last fall, but never before had I seen such a large group all uniting for a single cause.

I reflected on the class lecture from Tuesday, which involved a discussion on why people write history. The events of the Jubilee are a great example to exemplify the importance of historical writing--to permanently record and textualize them, so that years down the road, people can look back and remember the Jubilee through the lenses of the countless sources that covered the historic event. 

Rainbow over the Mall leading to Buckingham Palace.
Fireworks! -- the best way to end any event

God save the Queen!

Until next time,
John D'Olimpio

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