In Flanders Fields

12:50 PM

Very often with all my travels, I am usually confronted with the question "How long are you visiting from America?" Which always comes the very polite reply "I'm Canadian actually" with a quick smile. This doesn't bother me and I'm quite used to this nowadays. But sometimes it does give me pause to think, well what  exactly is a Canadian? Living afar from your country gives one a quiet and fierce pride over their homeland.

But somehow this quiet pride seems to gets amplified at this time of year during November.

Recently my family took a holiday trip to England for some family time, and we decided to make the trek across Europe. Tony decided while on the way to the channel ferries, we were going to make a pit stop in Ypres, Belgium. This beautiful little town is the home of the In Flanders Fields Museum. We wanted to make a stop for our children to have this experience of what Canadians hold so close to our hearts.

I had some personal misgivings. As a mother sometimes you have small panic attacks about what your children are exposed too. I worry alot about how much to expose such young minds too. But I'm so glad we did this. The kids were amazing, asked great questions, and we had such a lovely day!

The In Flanders Fields Museum was incredible. A completely modern and very interactive museum, suitable for all age groups. A museum dedicated to ALL the soldiers who have fought for our countries. The displays were amazing, mixing multiple uses of multi media, actual artifacts, pictures, interactive displays, uniforms, and very much something that can be achieved and digested on a 3 hour visit. The committees and town who have organized and put this museum together are brilliant.

 You could climb up to the bell towers to see the town of Ypres from above.
The boys really enjoyed that!

They had displayed various memorial locations throughout the local skyline.

You couldn't take pictures inside the museum, but really if you ever have the chance you should go!!
Here's the link to this museum

Callum spotted some cute tourist rental bikes outside the museum...

Poppies being the international symbol of Remembrance .

 At the end of the museum, we looked at our watches and thought if we can we might make it out into the countryside to see one of the very many memorials that surround this little historic town. We got our directions and decided on one of the largest memorials for fallen soldiers. Tyne Cot.

This is what we really wanted to show our boys, just so they could really understand the scale. Its hard for little boys to really understand this. Tony picked up the In Flanders Fields poem at the museum and read it to the boys.

its a very silent and beautiful place.

 I was a bit of a mess, it really is just how you imagined it to be.
 I was so proud of my boys....really they asked really great questions, and learned so much. Tony had many stories to tell them. He is a bit of a history nerd when it comes to WW1 and it was really great for him to see this as well. Tony served in the Canadian Reserves. So this is something he has always wanted to do.

I'll leave you with this....the famous poem by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
 He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres.

Happy Remembrance Canada.
 Lest we Forget.

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