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Ypres - Centre Of The Great War

This weekend I went to Ypres to commemorate all the soldiers we lost in the first World War. On this day, 95 years ago, at eleven in the morning, the fighting came to an end. And now every year, people from all over the world come to Ypres on november 11th to commemorate their suffering.

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In Ypres, there are over 600 000 men burried, and 55 000 men are placed by name, on the biggest War Memorial in Ypres : The Menin Gate.

These 55 000 men were never found and never had a proper buriel, so their names were carved into the walls of the Menin Gate.

Those who were found, were burried close to where they died; the battlefield. In Ypres there are hunderds of graveyards with soldiers from the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, India, South-Afrika,… And some of the graveyards are enormous. The best known graveyard is Tyne Cot.

The symbol of the great war is the well known Poppy. This became the symbol thanks to John McCrea, a Canadien doctor who served in the war. He wrote a poem that showes the moral of the war beautifully.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Today there was a huge ceremony with parades and music and flowers and prayers. Every year thousands of people come to Ypres, and if you haven't been there yet, you should definitely come here at least once.

Next year, it will be 100 years ago the war started, and a lot of people are already expected to be in Ypres next year, but if it comes to such things, there can never be enough people.

So I warmly invite you to my country, to expierience one of the most interesting times in history from as close as you can possibly get.

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