Live like a local.
When I travel to Ireland, although people equate Ireland with Guinness and whiskey and I may have enjoyed many pints of Guinness and glasses of whiskey, I won’t be writing about that. Instead, I want to focus on a part of history that seems so obvious to all the history buffs out there, but ME.
If a country, an island to be specific, is neutral during a war, how does it prevent itself from being bombed? We are all aware how difficult it was to fly at night and how during the Blitz the German’s used the concept of intercepting and listening for two crossing radio beams and the pilot would then know he was over his target. This worked only temporarily, Briton was able to out smart the German's by sending their own codes signaling the pilots to fly wildly off course.
Remember that the Island of Ireland was Neutral during WWII. The USA and the UK were preparing the invasion of D-Day and wanted to make sure as war efforts were ramping up that there was a way to know where Ireland was from the skies. Eisenhower asked the Irish embassy to spread the word and to make LARGE letters (each letter being about the size of a small room approx. 11’x8’?) spelling out EIRE which means the Island of Ireland in their native tongue. These EIRE markers were placed all over the Island, numbering 80 in total, signaling to any aircraft that they were over Ireland, a neutral island. It was critical for the US Aircrafts having to cross the Atlantic, to avoid landing in Ireland. And as with the best laid plans, there were times Americans accidently did land, and they were looked after and escorted back to the border. In contrast, unintentionally German planes also landed, their airmen were interned at the Curragh Camp. Is anyone truly neutral?
Over the years, most of these markers have been forgotten about and overgrown with brush. It hasn’t been until recently that they are being unearthed and used as a bit of memorabilia. A big thank you to the volunteers that have spent countless hours carefully bringing back a bit of forgotten history.
One such marker (#6), we saw as we rode our bikes around Howth. (Side note: Howth is worth visiting when near Dublin!) It was impressive to see the size of the markers. It’s inspiring imagining people speedily assembling and cooperating to make such a marker. A shout out to an impressive and fun tours in Howth: Shane's Howth Adventures.
So many of the significant bloody conflicts the Irish people have fought have been between themselves. I find it interesting that they are mostly considered neutral in terms of conflicts around the world. I also think about how the USA is currently boiling up with HATE among its own people. History shows that this disunity will burst if they cannot find a way to release the pressure. Maybe on America’s soil we should erect giant markers with four letters: HELP
Don't take life so seriously.
I'm Jody. I love to travel. I love to take pictures. I love to meet people and find interesting places. I also love to write about and post pix of what I've found. But, I've been told that I write like I talk - in streams of consciousness. So, if proper grammar and well composed sentences are a must for you - my posts will make you crazy. If you want to follow my journey as I learn about really cool places and offer some great tips about living abroad, read on!