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Located just a block from the Russell Square underground station, Tavistock Square is one of London's most pleasant spots. I don't like to get too squishy about such things but the reason may be that it's dedicated to peace. And and the sense that people may someday find a way to stop maiming and killing one another pervades the garden there. At one end, there's a statue of Virginia Woolf, who once lived right across the street where the Tavistock Hotel is now. Her house was destroyed by German bombs during the Second World War and the thought that not so long ago bombs could come raining out of the sky on London adds a note of urgency to the area's theme.
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At the other end, there's a massive stone to commemorate the advent of conscientious objectors, and carved into its face is this message: "To all those who have established and are maintaining the right to refuse to kill." That London finds a way, in the path of strident commercial development, to maintain places like Tavistock Square is testimony to the possibility that civilization may sometime arrive on earth. And, if that's a silly thought, at least its a soothing one.