11th we commemorate the fallen from all wars. WWI ended ninety years ago.
Take time out for a minute of silence on the eleventh hour of the eleventh
month… That’s what we do in Canada besides wearing a red poppy, and in
France and other countries, Nov 11th is still a public holiday
you’re in France, take a short trip to one of the War Cemeteries. It is an
absolutely gripping thing to do.
we might never have known are conjured up when we think of what was called
“The war to end all wars…” Amiens, Belleau Wood, Armentieres, Galipoli, the
Piave, Verdun, Mulhouse, Chateua Thierry and Vimy Ridge come to mind and now
we are reminded of a battle that cost the allies dearly. It is a name
recently emblazoned on all local movie marquees. A new film brings back the
horrors that occurred when 4000 Canadians gave there lives at PASSCHENDAELE…
But this was not the only battle and
soldiers from the United States, India, Great Britain, Australia and Canada
joined the French to hold the lines north of Paris. Thousands gave their
lives on both sides but Paris never fell. Today, just north of Paris from
the farms of Picardie to the Eastern borders of France, one can visit row
upon row of graves ‘for a cause’.
At this time of the year, all over
Canada, veterans of foreign wars sell poppies to commemorate the deeds done
in foreign wars. The fact that the film Passchendaele came out in Canada is
connected with Nov. 11th,
Remembrance Day. Its not that I want to
recommend the film which has incredible images of the battle ground, I
mention it because it does speak of the anguish and futility of war. What
started in long before 1918 still goes on on different fronts for different
Lest We Forget…
The first time I saw the manicured
cemeteries was near Belleau Wood. Since then I have seen a few dozen even
extending to Italy, Belgium and even Thailand where very young men gave
It is hard to believe that this is what
Amiens, France looked like after the destructive battle.
This time of the year we pause to
remember so that those who died will not have died in vain in France, Italy
and books can’t do justice to the carnage and useless suffering. At Belleau
Wood alone there were 9,777 casualties of whom almost 1,900 died. Today the
highway separates the fallen allies from the fallen enemy.
proudly wear our poppies and visit a cenotaph where a bugler blows taps and
we take a minute of silence to remember. How can we ever forget?
all those who fought and those who died. Their efforts were for a just cause
and one cannot underestimate the anguish of those they left behind.
Considering that the age for enlistment was merely eighteen we are
remembering boys, not yet fully mature who in many cases signed up freely to
fight the wars designed by older men.
Rice, a newspaper reporter, put it well when he wrote:
OF WAR (All wars))
are planned by older men
for greater armament
And map the
along the shattered field
golden dreams turn grey,
young the faces were
the dead men lay.
solemn in their pride,
cast their vote
For this or
that, or something else,
a martial note.
their sightless eyes stare out
life’s vanished toys.
noticed nearly all the dead
more than boys.
the smaller populations of the countries listed and study the number of
(military only) dead, wounded or missing in WW I
is only a partial list. War total
remember them all…
You can Contact Professor Arnie Greenberg at:
Over the past few years, Professor
Greenberg has traveled with groups to France, Italy, Spain, Greece,
Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and both Sorrento and the Bay of
Naples plus most of Sicily. His tours traveled to the far reaches of the
globe including Italy and most of
China (Beijing -Hong Kong) and to Russia where his group cruised the waters
from St.Petersburg to Moscow.
"He took a group to Greece and another to northern
Russia. In Nov 07 he took a tour group to much of India and ended his tour
groups by revisiting France. He now travels with his wife and friends. They
winter in Argentina or San Miguel Mexico. His newly found spare time
is taken up with his painting and writing. "I must write every day." His
current work is a cautionary manual for would-be tour leaders.. "So
You Want To Be A Tour Leader."
Arnie now travels with friends. He continues writing
Travel articles about unusual places but often concentrates on novel
writing. Two books based on French Art will be published this year.
Keep reading his web for travel ideas. His next
novel HELLSTORM'S Folly,
will be available this fall. He now
lives in British Columbia.
www.top-travel-ideas.com or contact him directly at
(More about the writer.)