A SILENT MEMORIAL AGAINST WAR by Walt Polley

This image is part of my life. 1) I participated in a year of study at Hamburg University in Germany starting in 1971. My brother (a musician) suggested that I attend a worship service in the Saint Mary Church. When our study group took a trip to Lübeck one Saturday, in early September, to learn about the city and its artistic and cultural treasures, I stayed overnight to attend worship service Sunday morning at Saint Mary Church. 2) After graduating from college I was drafted into the Army. Because my college major was physics, the Army felt that my military specialty should be planning for nuclear and chemical warfare – ultimate destruction.  3) During the study group trip to Lübeck that Saturday in 1971, while in Saint Mary Church standing near this memorial, I met the young lady who would later become my wife – the exact date we met that year was September 11.

Saint Mary’s Church in Lübeck, Germany was built between 1250 and 1350; located on the highest point of the island that forms the central heart of Lübeck. During World War II, Lübeck was the first German city to be attacked by the Royal Air Force. The bombing attack on the night of March 28, 1942 created a firestorm that destroyed three of the main churches in the city center. The bells of Saint Mary’s Church hung in the South Tower in a bell loft over 200 feet above the ground. The strong updraft feeding the flames after the bombing raid caused the bells to ring one last time and they crashed to the ground. The oldest bell dated to 1508, weighed 4,400 pounds and had been rung for 434 years. The tenor bell dated to 1669, weighed 15,700 pounds and pealed for 273 years.

The heat and intensity of the fire partially melted these two bells. They fell from the burning tower in the early morning hours after the bombing raid. Since that day the two bells remain in the south tower as a silent memorial warning against war and violence.

You can read more history about Saint Mary Church HERE

About MSST

Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Grandfather,Teacher, Counselor, Photographer and married to Sylvia since 1963.
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