Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Remember Remember ...

Waking up this morning, the 5th of November 2008, following the election of Barack Obama as this nation’s 44th President, I couldn’t help but remember the story of Guy Fawkes.

The words of "Remember Remember" are spoken throughout the United Kingdom every year on this date, the Fifth of November. The Nursery Rhyme, created from 17th century English history, refers to the exploits of Guy Fawkes and his fellow members of an early 1600 group known as the English Roman Catholic Terrorists.

On the 5th November 1605, Fawkes was caught in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament with several dozen barrels of gunpowder, preparing the most dastardly of deeds that only a Bill Ayers or an Al-Qaida terrorist could truly appreciate. Guy Fawkes was subsequently tried as a traitor with his co-conspirators for plotting against the government. Fawkes was sentenced to death, and the form of the execution was one of the most horrendous ever practiced, by being hung, drawn and quartered which reflected the serious nature of the crime of treason.

The tradition, which is still carried on this very day, began the following year 1606. It became an annual custom for the King and Parliament to commission a sermon to commemorate the event. Lancelot Andrewes delivered the first of many Gunpowder Plot Sermons. Each year, on this very night, celebrations of bonfires and fireworks can be seen on distant hills all across England and Scotland. This practice, together with the nursery rhyme, ensured that this crime would never be forgotten! Hence the words: “Remember Remember the 5th of November."

In today's society, Guy Fawkes would have been let off on a technicality and eventually become good friends with the future Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

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