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Monday, July 31, 2017

The Great War remembered

Yesterday and today both the English and the Belgians remember the Great War of 1914-18. Especially the Battle of Passchendaele, where hundreds of thousands lives were lost.

The tribute started with the Last Post at the Menen Gate, in attendance of our King and Queen, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate). BBC1 took out with the big means to bring a show nobody would forget.

The evening was full of marching soldiers of various regiments, big choirs and pipe bands, a wonderful orchestra. Various actors brought back thoughts and poems of soldiers in the war. The introductions were made by Dame Helen Mirren, and even Alfoe Boe brought a song.

But what was most impressing was the projection of images on the Cloth Hall of Ypres. The BBC had made excact measurements of the building, so the 3D images would fit completely.

Our own granddad was one of the lucky who survided this ordeal. He was only a boy of 17 when the war started, studying at the military academy. All the last years were drafted into service, and he got the command over a regiment of men who were twice as old as he was.

He never talked about this war. The only thing he once mentioned, was that King Albert I rode his horse through the lines and he talked to him. And that Queen Elizabeth personally tended to the wounded. It must have been a terrible thing for a kid. Most likely he suffered a trauma of sorts.

Later on, he lived through another war, but of the last one we have heard  many stories.

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