Monday, January 2, 2012

"Life must go on, in spite of all..."

A poignant story in Emile Cammaerts' biography of King Albert I seems appropriate to share at this time of year. A theme throughout the book is Albert's anxiety for the future, which often seemed menacing during his life. His efforts to restore his devastated country after World War I suffered from serious internal tensions between Catholics, Liberals and Socialists, Flemings and Walloons. Meanwhile, the clouds of a new, even more terrible world war were gathering on his borders. At the beginning of 1934, his concern surfaced in his last New Year's letter to his beloved sister Josephine: "Life must go on, in spite of all." Sadly, however, within weeks, Albert's own life would come to a tragic end. Nevertheless, his brave and hopeful greeting still seems comforting in an often frightening world.

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