At The Menin Gate

This afternoon we left the British cemeteries behind and traveled to the German cemetery at Langemark to see a very different type of memorial. Because there was such hostile feelings towards Germany after the First World War, the Germans were given much smaller areas than the allied forces to bury their dead. About 24 thousand area buried in one mass grave at Langemark and then another 20 thousand in the other graves there. The whole atmosphere of this cemetery is much more somber as the graves are upon the ground and made of  dark stone, not up right and of white stone as we had seen before.

As the rain fell heavily, it added to the atmosphere of the place. Haseena laid a wreath at the cemetery to show respect for the German war dead of the First World War. It seemed very appropriate as we prepare to receive guests at the school from all across Europe spend a moment to reflect on a time when Europe was at war  and yet be able to see from our 21st century perspective that the dead soldiers from all sides left grieving families behind them.

In the evening, we walked into Ypres to take part in the Last Post Ceremony, which occurs every night at 8pm. It was very moving to watch people from all over the world come together under the huge arch, filled with the names of the war dead whose bodies have not been found or identified. Joe and Cameron were able to represent the school and place a wreath along with other representatives of schools, armed forces and youth groups. They performed their part in the ceremony with great dignity and pride.

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