‘Every man to his post’

On Aug. 27 a year-long exhibition of Churchill’s underground cabinet war rooms opened in London.

Among the displays is the transcript of Churchill famous “9/11” speech from Sept. 11, 1940, officially titled “Every man to his post.” It includes notes added to the original draft, like this description of Hitler:

This wicked man, the repository and embodiment of many forms of soul destroying hatred, this monstrous product of former wrongs and shame has now resolved to break our famous island race by a process of indiscriminate slaughter and destruction.

And what had the wicked man wrought? Churchill’s familiar conclusion:

What he has done is to kindle a fire in British hearts, here and all over the world, which will glow long after the traces of the conflagration he has caused in London have been removed. He has lighted a fire which will burn with a steady and consuming flame until the last vestiges of Nazi tyranny have been burnt out of Europe, and until the Old World and the New can join hands to rebuild the temples of man’s freedom and man’s honour, upon foundations which will not soon or easily be overthrown.

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