We are used to beaches being happy places, sandy havens of fun amid gentle waves on hot sunny days, places where children play with sand and spades and splash in the sea.
Not so on a Turkish beach last week as a dead Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, aged just three, lay face down on the wet sand at the water’s edge. In another picture a grim faced policeman in a green beret and short sleeved khaki shirt carried the little bundle gently, carefully, as if it were alive to his final sanctuary.
So sad, so moving.
We are all humans, even David Cameron changed his policy on refugees as a result, a small gesture to the tragic image.
It got me to thinking about The Power of Pictures and Words
Yet even better is Brian Smith’s (SEH 1965) contribution in the form of a Christmas carol, sung to the Kirkpatrick’s 1895 tune for “Away in a manger”.
Away from his mother , just stones for his bed
The three -year-old Aylan lies on a beach, dead.
The stars in the bright sky look down where he lies
A drowned refugee boy attracting the flies.
A camera is waiting , the media awake:
This poor little Syrian no percentage will take.
A scoop for the papers, more drama for Sky —
They’ll stay by his side till the deadline is nigh.
Remember his family. I ask you to keep
Their pain in your memory whenever you weep.
Bless all these dear children in our tender care
And bring them to Europe to live with us here.