The day broke, cloudy but the sun glimmering through.
It was a day that some people in Spain thought would never come. For many of those who had lived their lives in Franco’s dark shadow, it was a day that had come too late. A day they never saw. It came though nonetheless. Franco would be moved.
For 44 years he had lay in the Valley of the Fallen, the monumental religious memorial in the Sierra de Guadarrama. Overlooked by a 500-foot stone cross, it was a resting place suited to a saint. Instead a mass murderer lay beneath it, next to 30,000 he had killed. An uncomfortable pairing for modern Spain with its ideals of liberty, justice and equality.
But as the hour approached, a ramshackle few appeared at the monument’s gates.They didn’t care for modern Spain. Outnumbered by journalists, for once they found an audience for sympathies others had long renounced. ‘Franco Vive’ they said. But Spain replied: ‘El muere.’
And then the moment came. A white helicopter, dove like, passed by the crucifix. Franco was taken away. And the sun shone on a bright blue infinite sky.