More than half of the world's population tuned in or turned up for Queen Elizabeth II's beautiful funeral service this morning. The profound love her subjects feel for her, the endless silent "Queue to End all Queues" to pay their last respects followed by a beautiful service and military funeral procession left this American shaken to the core.
No American leader, with the exception of President Trump, has garnered such love. They're usually too corrupt and, thankfully, never serve very long.
What made Queen Elizabeth II so different?
The United Kingdom knows how to grieve properly with silent elegance and dignity. All day yesterday and today, I've watched the livestream of the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall as her sorrowing subjects pay their last respects.
The hushed silence of the magnificent hall built in 1079 by William II is broken only by the shuffle of feet. Every face is etched with sorrow. Despite the legend of British reserve and a stiff upper lip, some are openly weeping long before they reach her coffin. Others only burst into tears after paying their final respects to their Queen and turning away for the last time.
They hail from every corner of the globe, every race, every color, every creed.
Most are dressed for mourning. The shops have sold out of black ties which men pair with black or dark navy blue suits. Military men wear their dress uniforms or at least their beret and ribbons. Ladies wear a blouse with a black design or a black dress, perhaps even paired with a hat. Some wear black armbands. Most carry backpacks or tote bags with their provisions for waiting untold hours and shuffling miles in cold, damp London before undergoing an "airport like" security check prior to entering the Hall.
Today as we mourn together the horrific events of 9/11, we also remember how it drew all of us together in our shared grief. Twenty-one years later, we are again brought together by our grief over the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
The entire world grieves the passing of an incredible lady who, like her mother during the Blitz, was the "Minister of Morale." Through every crisis and every conflict from World War II on, she brought calm and hope with her happy smile, cheerfully colored couture and blue eyes "that were so full of light."
On 9/11/2001, she ordered the Coldstream Guard outside Buckingham Palace to play The Star Spangled Banner and three days later, during St. Paul's Cathedral's service for the victims of 9/11, the Queen broke all protocols by singing along to our national anthem and The Battle Hymn of the Republic while she wept.
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