WWI Memorial – A Brooding Soldier

Canada entered World War I as a colony and came out a nation…
- Bruce Hutchison, Canadian Journalist -

We’ve been to Europe a number of times. (I know that sounds like a big deal, but we were living in England at the time.) On one of our trips we visited a number of  WWI cemeteries and monuments in Belgium and France. I was looking for a cemetery that contained soldiers who had died on the same day that my Grandpa’s brother, Henry, had been reported missing in battle. (Read In Flanders Fields for the story of my family in WWI.)

Near St. Julien we found the Canadian Memorial of The Brooding Soldier.  The bowed head and shoulders of a Canadian soldier with folded hands resting on arms reversed was carved from an 11 metre high piece of granite. It appears to be meditating about the battle in which his comrades displayed such great valour – a battle where the Canadian, British and French Armies met an enemy that launched the first ever large-scale gas attack.

Each fall I am reminded of that visit to Brussels and the St. Julien Soldier when I see the drooping heads and leaves of my sunflowers. The first light dusting of snow makes the large flower head bend – a Brooding Sunflower.

A heavy frost assaults, but doesn’t quite kill.

But as the weather gets colder, the sunflower admits defeat. Winter wins another war.

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24 thoughts on “WWI Memorial – A Brooding Soldier

  1. That was poetry Margie. I’m so glad Uncle Henny will have a place of honor in the Glenbow Museum. He was just a kid, not even old enough to drink beer when he bravely marched into battle.

  2. You are so gifted at selecting themes. The parallelism is perfect. We had our first frost and dusting of snow here on the coast we headed off to the cenotaph this year. I’m hoping for a cooler winter than usual as they usually mean less rain.

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