This area was once a literal warzone, bullets and gas once flew down these streets. Today, tourists like us can walk the guided stroll through the murals- with materials interpreting each one.
|Peace- A dove (symbol of peace) and oak leaf (symbol of Derry)|
|John Hume- Nationalist Leader Hume, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother|
Theresa, and Nelson Mandela
|The Hunger Strikes- Two hunger strikers in a Belfast|
prison. Note the vandalism of the mural and the IRA
on the nearby wall.
|Saturday Matinee- A kid and an armored car|
|Operation Motorman (left) The Runners (right)|
A soldier smashes a barricaded door with a sledgehammer and Bogside
residents flee from a gas attack
|Free Derry Corner, Petrol Bomber mural|
|Bloody Sunday- Residents carry a body from the fighting|
|Bernadette- Bernadette Devin McAliskey|
|Death of Innocence- Annette McGavin, killed here in 1971 aged 14|
|Bloody Sunday Commemoration- Faces of those killed on|
Bloody Sunday in 1972
After looking at all these peaceful murals, one would think that we were feeling good and hopeful, right? Well, a little bit.
In addition to the murals, we saw a lot of other material that we haven't shared here. Someone had written a letter to the British military asking for an official apology for the attack on Bloody Sunday in 1972. The military actually wrote a return letter- telling them, "...After a thorough investigation, it has been determined that no wrongdoing was committed by..."
What the heck, UK? You can't throw them a bone after 40 years? The letter was posted clearly for all of us to see, and to stir the pot in this already hot neighborhood.
Other stickers and graffiti promoted Nationalist extremist groups like the Bogside Republican Youth and other very sinister-looking organizations threatening violence. It seems that even the young generation holds the old grudges in this part of town.
The Derry Marathon was taking place this morning, and volunteers and supporters lined the streets of the Bogside- the home stretch of the marathon route. Just around the corner (and not photographed), vans of police stormtroopers with full riot gear, batons, and machine guns waited ominously just out of sight of the celebration in the street. There had just been a hotel firebombing three days before, after all...
Thankfully, there was no violence on this particular day. The SWAT teams went home empty-handed. We toasted the peace process with some fine and inexpensive English cask ales. We hoped that these two embattled groups could one day really, truly, celebrate and embrace each other.
...Maybe over some of these fantastic beers!