Trip one around the Ypres Salient
I met a group of Canadians at the Hotel in Arras before I left. They are stationed with the NATO AWACS group in Germany. Apparently we are on a similar itinerary. They were heading to Ypres as well. We were both at the Menin Gate last night, and we are both were driving around the Salient today. We crossed paths at the hotel this morning and at the Monument at St Julian. The memorial is called the brooding solider. A large collumn of granite with the head of a solider at the top, head bowed, and hands on the butt of a rifle – which is held in the ‘reversed arms position’ – pointing down. The pose is the same one taken by those standing post at the cenotaph on November 11th. The location is near the town of St Julian but its WWI landmark name was Vancouver Corner.
As I walked past the Canadian group group from the AWACS squadron in Germany, one put out his hand and said – “Welcome to Vancouver”. I was the most chilling feeling of my trip.