29 October 2006

War Memory

A lack of posts has been due to work and a vacation in Belgium. The first night I went to the Menin Gate and watched the Last Post ceremony. Unlike many, I didn't find it particularly moving, but I was struck almost dumb by the Menin Gate itself, with its long list of the missing. The Last Post tradition began the year following the the inauguration of the memorial. I found myself struck once again by how the impact that the First World War had on Britain and the Dominions resembles the sense of loss Americans acquired after the Civil War. I found myself wondering if the original solemnity of Decoration Day served as an inspiration for the obsequies for the First World War dead.

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