A double commemoration

It is Canada Day for some, Memorial Day for those in, of and friends with Newfoundland.
The caribou at the Beaumont Hamel memorial seems to continue to shed a tear.

The caribou at the Beaumont Hamel memorial seems to continue to shed a tear.

In 30 minutes 732 members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment were cut down in an attack at Beaumont Hamel. It was the opening action of the Battle of the Somme.
 
The Battle of the Somme lasted six months and resulted in a million casualties. A century later the landscape of Northern France and Flanders is littered with cemeteries and battlefields which are still offering up the remains of the dead.

British student stand on the battlefield at Beaumont Hamel. They face the Newfoundland trenches.

British student stand on the battlefield at Beaumont Hamel. They face the Newfoundland trenches.

 
Fields of stone for Imperial, French and German war dead fill the landscape of Northern France and Flanders.

Fields of stone for Imperial, French and German war dead fill the landscape of Northern France and Flanders.

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The numbers are staggering. There is a German cemetery with 44,000 graves. There is a French cemetery with 40,000 graves. A British cemetery with 10,000. And scores of other cemeteries with 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 graves. Plus all the unmarked, unidentified and missing soldiers. The Menin Gate, which has held a nightly memorial service since 1928, contains the names of 57,000 lost. A memory circle lists the names of 567,000 dead. That one memorial is equal to the population of Newfoundland Labrador.

 
Enjoy the day, and remember the cost.
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The Menin Gate, where every night at 8 pm since 1928, a remembrance service is held.

The Menin Gate, where every night at 8 pm since 1928, a remembrance service is held.

The Last Post echoes in the Menin Gate, which is lined with the names of tens of thousands of the dead.

The Last Post echoes in the Menin Gate, which is lined with the names of tens of thousands of the dead.

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