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Flanders Archives - St. Stephen's University

We Are The Grateful Living, pt. 2

By | 2016, Europe | No Comments

In my previous blog entry I wrote on how I experienced two very difficult day trips, one to Mauthausen, the other to Vimy Ridge. It has been about three months since we came back from the trip, and these moments (and other moments learning about the World Wars) still affect me. The effects are not as strong as they were, but when something comes up reminding me of those visits, I still feel both sad and angry.

In the last entry I purposely left out that, while we visited these locations, it felt like I could hear everything happening in these spots during the Wars. The whips, the gunfire, the bombs, even the cries of pain or for help. I left this out mostly because I did not want to be seen as being crazy, but also because I did not want others to know how strongly these experiences affected me. Please do not misunderstand, I did enjoy these experiences, and, in fact, I would go back to these places or to other locations about the World Wars.

One of my other favourite locations was the In Flanders Field Museum. This museum had lots on the Great War (First World War), and how it affected the local Flanders area. One of my favourite pieces in this museum was a painting. This painting originally caught me because of the colours of flames contrasted against a starry and smokey night sky. After looking at it for a bit though, I realized that the building I was watching burn down was, in fact, the same building I was standing in.

I cannot wait to go back to Europe sometime, and learn even more about the Wars from a European, and local perspective. I want to help do my part in keeping the memories of these tragic events alive, so that the potential of history repeating itself in these events can be reduced.