Menin Gate
Paul Winnell   Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
 
 
Menin Gate [www.steamladder.com]

Menin Gate Memorial

The Menin Gate was so named because here the road out of Ypres passed through the old wall defences going in the direction of Menin. During the war the two stone lions standing on each side of the Menin Gate were seen by tens of thousands of troops as they went towards the front line. The gate, beyond which these men’s fate lay, became highly symbolic. Afterwards it was decided that on this site a huge monument, designed by the architect Sir Reginald Blomfield, would commemorate those of the Empire who were killed in Belgium but have no known grave. The memorial was unveiled by Field Marshal Lord Plumer on 24 July 1927. Although it bears the names of 55,000 soldiers including 6,000 Australians, so great were the casualties that not all the names of “the missing” are here. Every evening the Last Post is sounded under the memorial’s great arch.

David Halberstam

I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shrivelling up, his head blackening and charring. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. Behind me I could hear the sobbing of the Vietnamese who were now gathering. I was too shocked to cry, too confused to take notes or ask questions, too bewildered to even think ... As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him

David Halberstam [en.wikipedia.org]

Convict Tattoo

May the sun never set on the cottage of the slave, nor rise on the palace of the tyrant
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