The 4th. Friday after Easter, Denmark closes down to celebrate All Prayers Day and Copenhagen this year, blessed with a sky so crisp, so blue, paraded its virtues with its usual panache. As many of the city’s visitors found themselves taking selfies under bushy clouds of pink cherry blossom in the parks and cemeteries, local residents strolled the ramparts of the citadel, an annual tradition since the 1600’s to mark those fallen defending the city. Roaming the star-shaped moat, the views of Copenhagen’s waterfront and skyline punctuated with St. Albans Church’s gothic spire, is impressive. Entering the northern entrance to the garrison, I left behind momentarily the world outside, parked my political perspectives and wandered over to the Danish artist, Finn Reinbothe’s monument, One Time, One Place, One Human Being. The monument is dedicated to the thousands of Danish men and women who have been deployed on a global troubled stage helping the victims of conflict or disaster since 1948 under the flag of the United Nations.
One section of Finn Reinbothe’s monument is devoted to the names of those fallen since the first conflict in Israel to the latest in Afghanistan, which is sadly only too well represented. On such a glorious day, with beech buds about to spring into life, it was a timely reminder how fragile and precious life truly is. A time, a place in Copenhagen worth remembering.
Photo credits: Phillip Mills