14 November 1940: The Destruction and Re-birth of Coventry
- Kamran Mofid
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St Michael's was elevated to cathedral status in 1918 but destroyed in 1940- Bridgeman Images
About 1200 people were killed and the city centre was demolished by the bombs on 14 November 1940
“On 14 November 1940 the Luftwaffe launched its most devastating bombing raid of the Second World War so far. The target was Coventry, a manufacturing city in the heart of England with a beautiful medieval centre.
As dawn broke over a ruined city, a horrific scene of destruction greeted the survivors. Homes and factories were flattened and many buildings were consumed by flames so intense, the city's sandstone brickwork glowed red. The air stank of burning flesh, and bodies, some mutilated beyond recognition, lay in the streets. Amid the broken walls and burning buildings, a 14-year-old girl was making her way to school.”…
Coventry: A remarkable historical city, my home town since 1974, when I married my Coventrian wife, Annie. Coventry, where I have made many wonderful friends, taught at its University for many years, was inspired by its values, spirit, and history, envisioning and enabling me to co-found the Centre for the Study of Forgiveness and Reconciliation at Coventry University. The Centre was officially inaugurated on 11 March, 1996, when its distinguished patron, Mary Robinson, the President of Ireland, delivered the inaugural Lecture at Coventry Cathedral and I was then appointed the Centre’s Associate Director.
Read “My Coventry Story”: Coventry and I: My Coventry Story
Coventry: The City of Peace, Forgiveness and Reconciliation
The statue of reconciliation in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral. I was honoured and proud to be present at the unveiling ceremony of the statue in Coventry in 1995 and later on at Hiroshima Peace Garden where a replica was unveiled.
Photo: Anne Mofid
"With each passing year the relevance of the human tragedy of the event and how Coventry rallied to become the city of peace and reconciliation grows in significance.
"Whilst remembering the horror of 1940 is vitally important, it's also key we view this as an opportunity for looking forward and ensuring that people and communities come together as a city to work towards a place we can all be proud of."-Ann Lucas, Coventry City Council