Our tour of duty is now over. Students on the HS Battlefields of Europe Tour 2013 returned on Saturday. Trekking over Belgium, France and Germany was a wonderful experience shared by all. Perspective became one of the themes for the trip after a first day which saw our luggage remain in Montreal.
Taking a quick moment to reflect upon our situation at the airport provided the mind set of, “the soldiers we are about to visit had it worse”. With that in mind we humbly visited the final resting places of over 250,000 soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Students found a new perspective on the scope of two World Wars. Countless Canadians were represented among the graves at the Vimy memorial, Beaumont Hamel, the Brooding Soldier and many more.
Within the 250,000 graves we viewed was the grave of a 15 year old soldier. Some say it is difficult to gain perspective as a teenager these days. All one needed to do was watch the reaction of the 15, 16 and 17 year-olds as they stood around that headstone and realized the position they would have been in just under a century ago. Perspective isn’t so difficult to gain after all.