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My pilgrimage

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Yesterday and the day before my nephew and me went to Belgium for a WW1 pilgrimage.


We first went to a place near Oostende, mainly a Atlantic wall museum.


Then the Ypres area.

We visited the Menin Gate offcourse and attended the last post ceremony- very impressive.

The Menin gate became somewhat emotional when we checked the register for our last names. Mine was there and I went to his name.

It was on the left side, up the stairs and on the side, 3rd name from the bottom.

I don't know if 'he was a distant relative but I still felt sadness.

I left the poppy I wore next to his name. (rest in peace William).


Spend the night in our tents in the area, hearing gun or cannon shots in the distance while it was going dark - military training area maybe?


We visited Hill 62, Hooge Crater cemetery and museum, Hill 60 and a nearby museum with preserved trenches.

Also the remains of original tree stumps were still there, wearing the scars of war and many remembrance crosses attached to them.

What struck me were the pebbles and stones on site....why? Most were smashed and most have formed shrapnell in its own right.


Don't know what more to say, the experiences and some emotions are still flowing in my mind when I stop to think.

To see what's left is one thing, to try to imagine it another. So much pain, terror, grieve those men must have felt.

All of them must have thought of home, so many never made it. :cry:











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I agree that the area can be emotional, but it is also so alive and busy. I belive those who gave all would apprecaite that, it makes their sacrifice worthwhile.


Indeed, near Hooghe Crater is a amusement park. The only people shouting/crying are those enjoying the rides.


The contrast was striking. The suffering is gone, the fun returned.

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