Throughout history, War Memorials were erected to commemorate victories in battle, but today’s memorials are not to glorify war, but to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and to stand as a reminder of the horror of war, and maybe to create an understanding between former enemies in the hope that peace can be our future. Many memorials stand to the memory of the un-named dead, whereas others bear the names of the brave men and women who sadly lost their lives in these conflicts.
“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them”
A fitting epitaph, which adorns many Commonwealth memorials. “The Ode” by Lawrence Binyon
In a country where war was fought, it lingers, even if that war is already a century behind us. For each of the more than 600,000 dead who fell here, for each of the more than 425,000 graves and names on memorials and for the hundreds of traces and relics in the front region, for each of the millions affected there is a story of suffering, pain and ordeal somewhere in the world.
The Sanctuary Wood Museum Hill 62, 3 km (1.9 mi) east of Ypres, Belgium is located in the neighborhood of the Canadian Hill 62 Memorial and the Sanctuary Wood Cemetery. The museum is privately owned by Jacques Schier, the grandson of the farmer who founded the museum and owned the site of the museum since before World War I
The chapel, in which the museum is located, dates back from the early twenties. This chapel was built directly across the Hooge Crater cemetery in memory of the many fallen soldiers on the battle fields of ‘Hooge’ over a period of 4 years. The chapel and annex village school was bought by the De Smul – Ceuninck family in 1992 – 1993 and saved from total ruin due to a radical renovation.
Zonnebeke and Passendale are two little villages, at a stone’s throw from Ypres. During the British attack of 1917, there were 500.000 casulaties in 100 days for a gain territory of only 5 miles. Passchendaele became an international symbol of senseless military violence in its most cruel form.
During the Spring of 2014, a new museum dedicated to the Second World War, the Bastogne War Museum, opened its doors, at a stone’s throw of the famous Mardasson memorial. The Bastogne War Museum was housed in a brand new building with a daring architecture and contemporary scenography.
More than sixty bunkers and trenches, looking exactly like they did during WW2! In the dunes of the former estate of Prince Karel, a unique historical site of modern fortification has been preserved: sixty constructions dating from both World Wars, interconnected by two kilometers of trenches and galleries. This remarkable site has been extremely well preserved , as prince Karel systematically prevented every demolition attempt.