Today marked the third day of our adventure and it was packed full of locations, sights, and experiences. We started off the day by visiting St. Julien then went on to see Langemark, Hill 60 and 62, Passchendaele, Tyne Cot Cemetery, and a few small cemeteries as well. I think the moment from today that is sticking out most in my mind is Tyne Cot Cemetery. The sheer size and number of the fallen soldiers located just in the cemetery, and also the names on the walls, carried a heavy toll on me emotionally. With nearly 12,000 dead and of those 8,300 unidentified it gave a true idea of how extensive the loss of life was for the Ypres Salient – and the Great War as a whole as well. One of the more awe-inspiring moments was seeing the craters at Hill 62 and the Caterpillar. It’s one thing to hear stories of the sheer force of shells, bombs, and other forces of artillery, but to physically see the massive size of the craters was definitely a humbling experience. It was interesting to go to the Langemark cemetery as one of our first stops of the day, being that we had just came from a Canadian memorial and then moved onto a German one. There was a deep amount of respect present at the gravesite, and it also gave us a chance to see the war from the point of view of the Germans. One of the plagues describing the fallen at the location, explained how the fallen became part of the Langemark myth: a heroic attack made by young soldiers, who died for the country, with the national anthem on their lips. The soliders who came from Germany were doing as they were told, as were the Allies, so it was a new side to the story of the Great War that I hadn’t considered as much when I was in the classroom.

Ellen Dombowsky