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'Like a picture of some miraculous figure'

Today is the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Blitz. St. Paul's Cathedral still stands, and is still a symbol of Britain's endurance. Memorial services were held there today, and were filmed by the BBC.

Journalist Ernie Pyle has a lovely description of the church emerging out of an incendiary bomb attack:

The greatest of all the fires was directly in front of us. Flames seemed to whip hundreds of feet into the air. Pinkish-white smoke ballooned upward in a great cloud, and out of this cloud there gradually took shape - so faintly at first that we weren't sure we saw correctly - the gigantic dome of St. Paul's Cathedral.

St. Paul's was surrounded by fire, but it came through. It stood there in its enormous proportions - growing slowly clearer and clearer, the way objects take shape at dawn. It was like a picture of some miraculous figure that appears before peace-hungry soldiers on a battlefield. (More here.)

The cathedral does not make an appearance in the video clip below, but it's worth watching--it's a report on newly released and very rare color film footage of the Blitz: