We remember our war dead once a year on Nov 11th. The people of Ypres remember OUR war dead EVERY DAY and have done so since 1928; specifically, those who fell while defending Ypres. It’s humbling and I will admit that it made me cry.
Every night at 8pm, people meet under the Menin Gate Memorial where a bugler plays the last call. For our visit, there was a band with bagpipers, dignitaries, and lots of wreath-laying.
Even more humbling is the Menin Gate Memorial. When we first walked under the arch, La Niña asked if these were all the names of people who died in the war… because there are hundreds of thousands of names that wrap around the whole building. It’s nearly impossible to find someone; there are VOLUMES of names contained in the cemetery register (located in a compartment in one of the main pillars).
No. We replied. These are just the names of the Allied men who that died defending Ypres and whose bodies were never found. It makes me nauseous to even think about it.