The area around Amiens and Arras in Northern France contains several war cemeteries and memorials. There is a surreal serenity about this landscape that seems otherworldly. I didn’t expect to feel such peace and calm. Mostly, I felt reverence. So many young lives sacrificed. I owe them the freedom to roam as I please.
Remembrance is palpable throughout Normandy. In many towns, I often spotted “rue du 11 novembre 1918” or “avenue du 8 mai 1945”. One doesn’t forget such dates when one has lived through them on their own land.
There is something extremely humbling in walking along the trenches of World War I at Vimy Ridge. I could only begin to grasp the horrors of the war, on both side of the ridge. This really happened. Here. A hundred years ago. As I stood on the ridge line and stared at what was once a battlefield, I couldn’t help but think that the horrors of warfare are happening right now in another part of the world.