In Flanders Fields - Photos from Ypres' Salient
Visiting the site where Lieutenant John McCrae wrote the poem In Flanders Fields was an incredibly sobering experience.
The site where he wrote the poem is commemorated with a monument located directly in front of a Canadian war cemetery which he was no doubt referencing. He died later during the war. His legacy is the poppy worn on lapels to this day which serves as a remembrance for all those who died during conflicts.
This nearby bunker which also served as a field hospital has been left in tact as a part of the memorial.
This is what the front lines look like today. One hundred years has erased all of the battle scars on the ground's surface.
The Canadian Saint Julien Memorial is just a short distance away. It marks the location of the first gas attacks employed during the first world war. The German chlorine gas attacks were a surprise that inflicted many casualties upon the Canadian soldiers. This memorial is similar to the Cenotaph in Regina's Victoria Park.
War takes it's toll on both sides. Contrary to the white stone memorials common to ally cemeteries, the nearby Langemark German war cemetery is distinguished with black stone memorials. Also, unlike the allies, it has multiple soldiers names on each flat memorial stone. Around 44,000 German soldiers are buried there.