A few years ago my brothers, my father and I took a trip around France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg as a way of spending some time together. My brothers were both living in Europe at the time (one in France as a missionary for the CMA church and one in Germany as an army doctor). Being who we are, we decided to tour the great battlefields of WW1 and WW2. We started in Bastogne and ended in Verdun.
I was deeply moved by the incredible number of war cemeteries that dot the landscape across this region of Europe and the mute witness they bear to the cost of war.
A couple of years ago, on a Memorial Day weekend, I strung together some of the most striking pictures that I took on that trip and created a short photo-essay that attempts to express some of what I felt as I walked those long lines of graves.
I’ve posted it every Memorial Day since. Someday I’ll dig out the pictures I took at the American version of these cemeteries (Gettysburg, Antietam, and Bull Run) – which are the reason this particular holiday exists. Different continents, different wars, but all of these graves testify to the immense human cost of modern war – and need to be kept in the front of our minds anytime we think it’s easier to fight than to reason.