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Just received this in an email and thought you all would like to see it.


One reason it is called Angel, is that when the plane releases its decoy missiles, as is shown in several of the pictures, it creates and Angel shape in light & smoke. Listen to the words of the pilot and the tower, and make sure you sit quietly and listen to the very end. This is beautiful, and of course sad.


"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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  • Elders (Admins)

That's really beautiful but also, as you say, very sad. I think many people don't realise what it'd be like to be on a flight carrying a fallen comrade home. It's a painful honour for the flight crew.

I know that physics is the cause of the Angel shape (it's the vortex from the engines), but it's the meaning that we humans ascribe to such things that's important. Physics is everything as far as the Universe is concerned, but it isn't everything as far as humans are concerned.

There's a very small town in Wiltshire, UK. Population about 11,000. It's a typical small town in southern England. Nearby is an RAF station, RAF Lyneham.

From April 2007, the bodies of servicemen and women of the British Armed Forces killed in Iraq and Afghanistan were repatriated to RAF Lyneham while repairs were done at RAF Brize Norton. The bodies would then be transported to John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, in coffins covered with a Union Jack, passing through the town on their way. In the summer of 2007, local members of The Royal British Legion became aware of the repatriation, and decided to formally show their respect to the soldiers as they passed through their town. This led to other people assembling along the route, with large gatherings of sometimes over 1,000 people. After Brize Norton was repaired, the RAF continued to use Lyneham because the "people of Wootton Bassett had done such a lot to lend their support, it was felt it would be insensitive to transfer the process back to Brize." When RAF Lyneham closed in September 2011, the repatriations moved to RAF Brize Norton and go near to the village of Carterton.

In 2011, the name of the town was changed, by order of the Queen, in recognition of the respect the town gave to the fallen. It's now Royal Wootton Bassett.



"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape." Terry Pratchett

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