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Eternal Refuge
Because Everyone Needs Dreams.
This English Girl Kept That One Minute Of Silence Today 
21st-Oct-2016 08:38 pm
Lily
Many of you won't even realise it, but today is the 50th anniversary of the The Aberfan Disaster

One minute's silence was kept at 9.15, the actual time that disaster struck, and Prince Charles came and spoke to the survivors and families, bringing a letter from the Queen.

Events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster

50 years ago I was actually attending a Welsh village school.  The layout being very similar to the design of the one that was flattened in South Wales.  I don't remember actually learning about it, but Mum always said that I ran out of school at lunchtime assuring her that I would have lived.  My class was for 4 - 7's and we sat in age order.  So for me as a 5 year old, I was near the area that missed the sludge.

Although I don't actually remeber the event, I have always lived with the fact that I was at school in Wales, at a time when 116 children died in a similar school.

article-2118686-0022F7AA00000258-585_634x422.jpg (634×422)
Aberfan school - with the people trying to find children (and teachers) still alive

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Most of the children were buried together.

May they RIP ... and may those who 50 years on, still have nightmares, be able to find peace.
Comments 
21st-Oct-2016 10:07 pm (UTC)
I was in a school in England at the time - Stafford, to be precise, but I had relatives from Tonypandy, Merthyr Tydfil and Bridgend, so it very much hit home. It still brings a tear to my eye.
23rd-Oct-2016 02:57 pm (UTC)
Just so sudden, so sad. They talk about a missing generation, and still affects us all, doesn't it?
21st-Oct-2016 10:07 pm (UTC)
What a terrible tragedy.
23rd-Oct-2016 02:57 pm (UTC)
Just so awful.
21st-Oct-2016 10:30 pm (UTC)
I remember it well. I remember especially how upset my mother was.

We lived in South Wales for a couple of years in the early 60s, my sister was actually born there, about 20 miles from Aberfan. My parents had seriously thought of buying a house quite close to Aberfan except that my grandmother had a stroke and they decided to come back to the island for Mum to care for her. My sister was 6 at the time of the tragedy.

So you can see why my mum was so very shaken as news came onto the radio and television.
23rd-Oct-2016 03:00 pm (UTC)
WOW

Mum always said that my comments shook her, and then seeing the BBC presenters actually beginning to cry, really spoke so much.

(On a side note we left Wales as my Granddad had a stroke, so we moved back to Essex)
22nd-Oct-2016 12:19 am (UTC)
I had never heard of this, but it is a heartbreaking story. How awful. I'm glad that people still observe that moment of silence though. to think about those who died, never lived, and ways they can keep the world safer.
23rd-Oct-2016 03:03 pm (UTC)
As it's called ... a missing generation.

So much pain and sadness, that still affects the town, as well as those who know about it. Many of the families moved away to try to cope, but as ever, you can't escape those sad memories.
22nd-Oct-2016 11:46 am (UTC)
I had never heard of this either, but it's not surprising as coal disasters discussed in US schools generally tend to focus on those related to the rise of labor unions in the 20th century. It's an awesome and awful disaster in the scope and cause of it (yup, went down the research rabbit hole for a little bit). Controversial mining practices remain today and looking at the fact that water caused this and several other mining disasters, it makes me wonder if anyone has drawn the correlation as it relates to the practice of fracking (huge controversy over this method of obtaining natural gas in the US, particularly in my home state).

May the remaining survivors have peace. May the people in charge continue to learn from this and disasters.
23rd-Oct-2016 03:08 pm (UTC)
As it's called ... a missing generation. So much pain and sadness, that still affects the town, as well as those who know about it. Many of the families moved away to try to cope, but as ever, you can't escape those sad memories.

Yes, some of the families argued to get the death certificates changed to "Smothered to death by the coal board". As they said it didn't matter the reason, or injuries, it was the bad practice of the coal board that caused the problem.

I hadn't even thought about the fracking relationship .... thanks for that link.
22nd-Oct-2016 03:14 pm (UTC)
I remember Aberfan. Of course, I was nowhere near Wales - I was 8 and lived in London. But I saw the tv pictures and newspapers and heard mum and dad talking about it. It was, I think, the first time I realised that children could die before they grew up...

So sad. And I observed the silence, too.

Edited to add:

Actually, I thought of Aberfan when Dunblane happened. Lots more parents who sent their children to school, where they should be safe and then they didn't come home.

Edited at 2016-10-22 08:18 pm (UTC)
23rd-Oct-2016 03:13 pm (UTC)
We moved soon after this, but that first village school has always been there in the background.

My parents friends had friends who lost a grandson at Dunblane. Children sitting in a school seem the most innocent of all, don't they?
24th-Oct-2016 02:48 pm (UTC)
I don't remember the disaster but it's a tragedy that has always been part of my life. My uncle was one of the ones who went to help dig as soon as the news travelled up the valley. Whenever we drove to Cardiff when I was little we saw the cemetery on the hillside with the white gravestones. It still brings me to tears.

I kept the minute's silence on Friday, but remembered the bravery and determination of the bereaved and the terribly injured survivors from the two documentaries I watched earlier in the week, as well as all those little lives lost.
25th-Oct-2016 09:23 am (UTC)
I thought of you as I was typing this post, and wondered what part of Wales your family actually lived in. Certainly brings it home with family involved.

I was only 5 when it happened, so I suppose that year younger (or is it 2), makes memories fade.

I have never been to Aberfan, so that is on my bucket list - and has been for a long time.

As someone else commented (as with Dunblane), young kids at school should be so safe. So hard to think of the families grief.
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