This time, London is an example of rejuvenation yet again. Olympic Park is situated on what used to be a wasteland of rusted fridges, as Coe put it. A rubbish dump.
Tons of toxic soil had to be removed, and in its place the East End being promoted as East Village is blossoming. Olympic buildings will be converted into housing, education centers, community sports facilities.
The rest of London has been reimagining itself for decades from imperial empire to melting pot of 8 million, 42 percent of it foreign-born.
That is why Boyle and Coe decided to inspire a generation. Hewing to their theme, they chose seven great British Olympians to nominate seven young athletes to carry the torch around the stadium after Sir Steve Redgrave handed it to them.
This was after Beckham, who as a lad played soccer near here, escorted the torch up the Thames via speedboat.
Not only the identity of the cauldron lighters but the location of the cauldron itself was kept secret until the end. The young athletes lit copper petals carried into the stadium by each delegation and planted at the center. Then each rose on a tall stem and converged into a giant flower of flame.
Clever and beautiful: It was a night to remember.
Even the queen poked fun at herself in a scene filmed inside Buckingham Palace with actor Daniel Craig.
Music played throughout, from Danny Boy to We Are the Champions, from the Bee Gees to Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, the Who, David Bowie, Adele, the Beatles.
We should all be Anglophiles for the next two weeks. Let the music take you away to the Isles of Wonder.