Facing these iconic monuments, so many emotions arise. These monuments so carefully and meticulously designed by men to evoke emotion and, what else... Respect? Reverencee? Admiration? There remains another monument maybe not as often considered - the land itself. As we make the drive to see the much anticipated Vimy monument, does the land itself not stand as a testament? If you didn't know the reason behind the irregular appearance of the fields you could convince yourself that it was an enchanted space with little hills and valleys - a fairyland. But the reality of those hills and valleys, those pock marks on the French landscape, is not so enchanting. The trenches that zig zag through Vimy and Beaumont-Hamel tell the awful truth of trench life in World War I. As you look at those tunnels that were home to so many soldiers - the land itself speak if its horrible memories. The scars it bears tell me that the war will not be forgotten. Though crops now grow in fields that have been recovered, the ground remembers that young men died there; that people did unspeakable things to each other on those fields.
The land forgives though. Fields are restored. Roads are rebuilt. Towns are brought back to life and in sharp contrast, children run and play in glorious innocence where humanity once devised plans to annihilate one another. I can't help but think that the soldiers who once trod upon it, smile contentedly while children run innocently over.
Psalm 19: 1 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God." What then does this land declare?
- Submitted by Kathryn