When my family was visiting London in 2006, my son’s girlfriend Marla insisted on seeing Trafalgar Square. It was a long walk from where we were but fair is fair. It’s what she wanted to see, so we obliged. She was vague about why she wanted to see it and no one asked. We were all too busy taking in the sights that London offers. When we got there, no one was there. I remember cement and statues amidst a quiet atmosphere. Since then, I’ve heard Trafalgar Square mentioned many times in the news. It’s the location of numerous historic demonstrations and the site itself pays tribute to a sea battle where Britain fought French and Spanish fleets (at the same time) on the Southwest coast of Spain in October of 1805. Britain lost no ships and demolished a substantial amount of those belonging to France and Spain.
Fast forward to today. No wait, let’s go back to 1947, after World War II. This was the first year that Norway, grateful for England’s role in defeating the Nazis, presented Britain with a Christmas tree. Today, Norway’s continued gift of a Christmas tree stands in Trafalgar Square as a testament to the friendship between the two countries and a world free of Nazism.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Herr Boy, available here: