A great day for Scotsmen, who celebrate the victory of William Wallace over the British at the Battle of Sterling Bridge in 1297.
A great day for Maltese, who celebrate the lifting of the Great Siege of Malta when the Knights Hospitallers defeated the might of the Ottoman Empire at the height of its power in 1565.
A remarkable day in the history of New York, when Henry Hudson discovered the Hudson River and Manhattan Island in 1609.
A mixed day for the Duke of Marlborough and his allies in the war of the Spanish Succession. They defeated the French at Malplaquet in 1709 but it was something of a pyrrhic victory as the allies lost twice as many men as the French.
A better day for the Americans in 1814 at the battle of Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain when they defeated the British in the war of 1812.
A bad day in 1916 when the central span of the Quebec Bridge collapsed with the deaths of 11 men.
A worse day in 2001 with the loss of 2,296 people in terror attacks on the Twin Towers.
Today we are not sure yet how bad a day it has been for the people of Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
This ebb and flow across one date in history reminds me of the following sonnet.
SONNET 64; by William Shakespeare
When I have seen by Time’s fell hand defaced
the rich-proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed
and brass eternal, slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
and the firm soil win of the watery main,
increasing store with loss, and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
or state itself confounded to decay;
ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death, which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.