A great experience for the 18 students and their 4 profs this Flanders Fields-tour. It all was part of a 3 weeks European discovery tour, with later also Berlin & St.-Petersburg. Thanks to mr. Bentson who was so generous to finance this education program for the Colgate University Students (State of New York).
Coming from Amiens & Arras (the Somme) the students went on a bicycle tour facing the Great War in Flanders Fields. The other day, because of large distances, we went with a bus (up to Tyne Cot, Praetbos-German cemetery & Käthe Kollwitz statues, the Ijzer-tower in Diksmuide & the Flemish/Belgian war-history, Poperinge (Talbot House and the Death Cells and execution Post)…. Finally we made the connection with the ‘cold war’ (the commandobunker on the Kemmelberg) and had a meet and greet with the 27th & 30th New York Division (the one and only USA-WWI-memorial in Flanders Fields). The group was also allowed to lie down a wreath at the Last Post ceremony (we gladly assisted to this, see the Facebook-movie). And we ended the Flanders Part of their European tour with some presentations and readings (by 5 students and me,myself, their tour-guide talking about ‘War, what is it good for?’)? We shared ideas, opened eyes and became aware of how important the sharing of ideas can be. Always with an open mind, worldwide, and from out of the heart of this Great War-location, particularly Flanders Fields. Where the silent but o so overwhelming shouting of the dead can be heard as we become silent ourselves when cycling through the former battlefields.