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Reporter's notebook: a nation in mourning

Samantha Lederman

WUKY listeners are well acquainted with Samantha Lederman, our award-winning equine reporter. You haven’t heard much from her lately because she moved back to England more than a year ago. Samantha sent this report on a nation now in the midst of mourning the loss of their beloved Queen Elizabeth II.

At 1 p.m. this afternoon The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired the Death Gun Salute in Hyde Park. 96 shots rung out at 10 second intervals, each one marking a year of the Queen’s life.

Similar gun salutes took place simultaneously at the Tower of London, and across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.

Thousands of people have converged on Buckingham Palace since the announcement of Queen Elizabeth’s death Thursday evening, waiting in line to pay their respects and leave flowers and cards at the Palace Gates. There were probably several thousand in Hyde Park this afternoon. Many of them brought flowers - huge, formal arrangements, lilies, roses and freshly picked bunches alike. Lots of them couldn’t hold back the tears. Standing behind the ropes the crowds were 5 or 6 people deep and spanned several generations.

A local primary school, the kids in uniform, waited patiently. Construction workers eating sandwiches on a lunch break, parents hoisting their toddlers onto their shoulders to see, young and old, we all came to be here, to be together, to bear witness to history.

Listeners might remember Lederman and her English accent from when she was a morning news anchor on WUKY from 1999 to 2001.