Image by Ryan Johns/Unsplash

In a rare televised speech to Great Britain and the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth showed the kind of inspirational, humane leadership so many of us yearn for.

Instead of telling the world what a “perfect” queen she is, Queen Elizabeth urgently reminded everyone that there is a battle to be fought, a battle we can all win if we keep our courage up and our humanity strong.

“This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor“ said the Queen, “using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed and that success will belong to every one of us.”

“Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones,” the Queen continued. But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do,”

Let’s remember that Queen Elizabeth as a young girl lived through the bombing of Britain, including bombs dropped on the royal palace grounds where she and her family were in residence. Her father King George VI overcame a crippling stutter in order to keep broadcasting live messages to the people of Great Britain during the blackest hours of the war.

The outcome of World War II and of Britain’s future as a free nation hung by a thread; but royalty as well as the elected leaders of Great Britain never dropped that thread.

Invoking memories of those terrible days, Queen Elizabeth said “We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return. . . We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”

What more comforting words could we hope to hear during these deeply anxious and dangerous days?

Deborah Barchi has recently retired from her career as a librarian and now has time to read, explore nature, and write poetry and essays.

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