A couple of weekends ago Kath and I were walking up to Soho from Tate Britain, where we’d been to see the late Turner exhibition. One for a blog in due course. As we walked through St James’s park we came across the Fields of Battle – Lands Of Peace 14-18 exhibition. There were some amazing photos of sites in Belgium and France that look lovely now but were horrific scenes of battle in the First World War. We must never forget this, out of respect to those who fell, and in order to avoid the same the same mistakes in the future.
The first photo below, Belleau Wood, near Aisne, was the scene of the last major offensive by the Germans, in 1918. America had become involved by this time and they played a major part in the battle. There was hand-to-hand fighting, which earned the Americans the name Teufelshunde. Devil Dogs. Frightening. What it takes to win a war.
Next up, the Somme. Needs no introduction. A synonym for the horror of war. And now so beautiful.
And finally, Messines Ridge. See the bomb crater and compare with today’s tranquil farmland.
We must never, ever forget. Forget the horror, the sacrifice, and the role America played rescuing Europe twice in the 20th century. And protecting it thereafter.
God bless America…
“Swords to ploughs”…
Always the best way…
Love the tribute!
America seems to get a bad rap sometimes. Thank you for this.
Because of the cultural and military dominance of America, there has always been an anti-American streak in Europe (especially France). As a youngster, with punk egging me on musically, I shared it. But as I grew up, understood the world better and, crucially, visited America, I realised it is the greatest country.