Curating Serendipity

Collections, Directions, Reflections

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 comments on “WWI Memorial – A Brooding Soldier

  1. Al
    November 11, 2012

    Wow. What an exquisite post! A lovely tribute to your countrymen.

  2. Cheryl
    November 11, 2012

    Beautiful, Margie. A wonderful analogy. Very thoughtful.

  3. dorannrule
    November 11, 2012

    “Lest we forget!” A wonderful post Margie and a great tribute to the fallen.

    • Margie
      November 13, 2012

      Yes Dor, I think it is important that we pass along these thoughts to our children and grandchildren.

  4. Greg
    November 11, 2012

    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.

    • Margie
      November 13, 2012

      Yes, Henny was young. I’m glad those few items that belonged to him will find a permanent home.

  5. yearstricken
    November 12, 2012

    Full of beauty and poignancy. Thank you.

    • Margie
      November 13, 2012

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story, YS.

  6. Ruth
    November 12, 2012

    Just beautiful. A poignant tribute.

  7. harperfaulkner
    November 14, 2012

    Powerful and brilliantly captured with your flower comparison. Excellent. HF

    • Margie
      November 17, 2012

      Thanks HF. My flowers are my friends. (Some people say I don’t get out enough…)

  8. timethief
    November 14, 2012

    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.

    • Margie
      November 17, 2012

      Thanks timethief.
      We’ve had a relatively early, cold, snowy, sunless start to the winter.

  9. lagottocattleya
    November 14, 2012

    Excellent…all of it.

  10. grannyK
    November 14, 2012

    I love your writing, and the photos.
    I nominated you for a Liebster Award

    • Margie
      November 17, 2012

      Thanks Granny K. I’ll add your name to my Awards Page, and reciprocate at a later date!

  11. Mark Armstrong
    December 1, 2012

    Beautiful. It’s all there: life, death, beauty, valor, sorrow, hope, mystery, a glimpse of eternity.

    • Margie
      December 10, 2012

      Thanks Mark. ‘Lest we Forget’ – my reasons not to.

  12. pamtanzey
    December 10, 2012

    Beautiful photos, beautiful memorials, the soldier and the sunflowers.

    • Margie
      December 11, 2012

      Thanks Pam – I’ve enjoyed your stories too.

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This entry was posted on November 11, 2012 by in Canada, Eurasia and tagged , , .

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