I do partake in what is called Dark tourism, but when I went to Ypres, it was for different reasons.  I had a couple client meetings and on my way to Ypres, I found myself looking into things to see as I love going to places that I’ve never been before.  I’m quite a nostalgic person and love places with a lot of history.  This time, it hits close to home.  Although I never had any family members that fought in WWI, I carry a heavy heart for those families that lost family members.  My fraternity also has members that did fight and a lot died or went MIA during this time of great desperation and travesty.

I decided to make this blog and put it up in time to remember those who have fallen.

A full minute of silence as the clock strike 11AM on the eleventh day of November 96 years ago today.

The poem written in the form of rondeau and really encapsulates the feeling of the time.  It was written by a Canadian Military physician named John McRae.  “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. According to legend, fellow soldiers retrieved the poem after McCrae, initially unsatisfied with his work, discarded it. “In Flanders Fields” was first published on December 8 of that year in the London-based magazine Punch.”


“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.”


For those of you that have never been or just haven’t had the chance yet, I’ve included a personal tour based on Photos and videos.  Videos will be made in separate posts.


The photos show a partial look at what Ypres has to offer.  They’ve built a complete walkway around the city limits and scatter throughout this walk are smaller cemeteries where soldiers were put to rest one final time.  The plots are separated by nationality.  You will see the headstones of thousands of soldiers with their name, rank and nationality.  They are buried beside each other and segregated based on which country they represented.

Enjoy the photos.