The images I've seen of his body laid out for viewing, the unimaginable numbers of people passing through the Basilica, surrounding and blanketing St. Peter's Square, descending upon Vatican City, these images are burned forever upon my mind. I wish that, for the people who are unable to travel to Rome to witness this magnificent event, I wish those people could have the advantage that I have sitting here at the station, watching continuous digital satellite feeds of various shots of the Pope's body, the crowds, St. Peter's Basilica, the Polish flags flying outside. It is a wondrous event.
John Paul II, for my part, it was nice having you while we did. This world is truly a better place because of you. Thank you for showing us how to achieve peace without bloodshed. Thank you for ... everything.
Right now, it's just about 9am in Rome. You can see the sun beginning to shine it's light on the crowd and the great Basilica. One of the last images of the Pope alive was when he was trying to set some white doves free from his window one Sunday morning. I believe it was the last time he was seen alive in public. The doves kept flying back into his apartment window. He was flanked by a boy and a girl, y'know, I think it might have been Easter Sunday. I don't remember the details. Anyway, he was quite amused by the doves not cooperating with the planned ritual. That's the photo I saw in the newspaper -- a wry smile on his face, clearly amused by the whole thing. Not at all frustrated.
Kind of makes you wonder if a dove will flutter through the funeral service, a dove who might have been quite familiar with that locale at one time not so very long ago...