Adrienne and Peter from Manchester (UK)
“It’s amazing when you see the old photographs of desolation and how everything has been rebuilt. You just cannot imagine what it must have been like,” Adrienne from Manchester, UK explains.
Adrienne first visited Flanders Fields some years ago, but time was too short and she absolutely wanted to bring her father Peter along for a second trip to the battlefields.
“There’s so much to see that you just can’t do it all in one visit. It’s such a beautiful region,” she says enthusiastically.
Adrienne’s grandfather fought in Passchendaele during the Great War. Peter remembers that he was gassed in battle and returned home to England.
“The number of graves and the futile loss of life is the thing that really gets to me,” Peter contemplates, looking over the endless rows of white headstones. “When you see all the graveyards here, you start to realize how many people died – all the waste of young lives lost” he continues.
“What always makes me cry is the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate,” Adrienne explains. “Yesterday at the ceremony I was standing next to a German lady and we talked quite a lot. She said to me ‘We all have to remember’ and that to me said it all.” she smiles pensively.
It is a question of never forgetting and making sure that people are aware of what happened
The Last Post, the traditional final salute to the fallen, has been sounded every evening at 8pm under the stunning arches of the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres since 1928. The Memorial to the Missing bears the names of 54,896 men from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Forces who went missing in action.
“It is great to see so many people from around the world paying their respects. Everybody lost a generation and it’s a reminder that this should never happen again,” Adrienne sums up.
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Story created on June 23, 2016