Menin Gate, Ypres

The workman in the photo is cleaning the risers in front of the names of Canadians who died in WW I. Everyone here at the Menin Gate is preparing for tomorrow’s Remembrance Day events. I’m feeling I also need a good wash today, after visiting the very detailed and realistic museum in Ypres which recounts all the horrors that happened in and around this once beautiful medieval town. So many lives ruined and lost all for a few feet of mud tossed back and forth between opposing armies. Such a waste of an entire generation. However, if there is one inspiring thing, Canadians are remembered very fondly here. There’s an all-night vigil going on this week projecting the names of Canadians who died here.

It was eerily quiet in Ypres today as people made solemn preparations for the influx of visitors tomorrow, decorating the precinct of the gate with paper poppies. There was very little traffic, and even the students were talking in hushed tones. I found the whole day pretty disturbing, as you prehaps can tell.

On a much happier note, I spent much of yesterday with Matthew Zadow and his wonderful family. Matthew showed me the sights of Brussels, then left me to enjoy the Lucas Cranach exhibit at the BOZAR museum, and then I rejoined him and his family for a traditional “moules et frites” dinner in their home. I particularly enjoyed a great game of chess with a very worthy opponent ; )

Matthew Zadow, baritone extraordinaire

Share →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *