Sunday, March 8, 2009

Armistice Day

I promised this shot a while back. It's our village's memorial to the Great War. It sits on the Grand' Place and is decked out for 11 November. The names of everyone in the village who died in that war are carved into the sides, including the poor guy who died the summer after the armistice. Gustave was a very popular name for boys in the 1890s.

Belgium had it rough during this war (the second war wasn't much better). Not only was a significant portion of the front on Belgian soil, but the Germans were playing by old-school rules: to the victor the spoils. They took everything of value, packing up whole factories--roofs, walls, machinery. But what goes around comes around: Belgium was an exceedingly wealthy country before the war in large measure because it was taking everything of value out of the Congo (Kinshasa).

The flags, left to right, are Wallonia, Belgium, and Saint-Ghislain.


Sarah said...

cool!! and the flags are just there for armistice day?

Anonymous said...

My goodness, how the rules of war have changed. Nowdays when we defeat an enemy, we rehabilitate the country that we defeated into a world power. Cheers!