Cross of Sacrifice (from April 2002)

Four weeks ago today, my family and I visited the town of Ieper (Ypres) in Belgium.
We stared in admiration at the magnificently restored Cloth Hall and St. Martin’s Cathedral. These medieval masterpieces were smoking ruins after the scourge of German artillery in 1915.
Later we visited the Menin Gate. It was a deeply emotional moment as we looked at thousands of Canadian names – names of men who had no known grave, no other memorial.
We walked along the ramparts of Ieper to the Ramparts Cemetery. There my daughter (age 24) discovered that every one of the 192 Commonwealth soldiers buried there had been younger than she is when they died.
Three hundred thousand men of the British Commonwealth died at Ieper. One hundred thousand of them were never identified. So much blood spilled. So little wisdom gained. When will they ever learn, When will they ever learn?

Published by Ray MacDonald

Ray MacDonald is a retired food scientist who lives in Almonte, ON.
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