This very humbling journey, specifically took place in the west Flanders of Belgium, dotted with cemeteries and memorials – reminder of FIRST WORLD WAR. The obvious destination of this particular journey was Ypres, to be part of a humbling ceremony of the Last Post which has been sounded every evening since 1928 at the Menin memorial gate.
The 600,000 small statues in the installation are a tribute to 600,000 victims of the FIRST WORLD WAR. The art installation symbolizes the rebirth of a hopeful desire for a new and more peaceful world.
The journey continued to Tyne Cot Memorial, which is the largest cemetery for common wealth force in the world. It’s the resting place of more than 11,900 soldiers of the British Empire from First World War in the Ypres Salient and memorial to the missing.
It was one of those moments, when life presents a chance to stand on hallowed ground. It’s a moment of grace, which shines a light on the illusion of reality and reflects the ephemeral of life. It’s a moment which literally forces us to ask profound questions like who we really are and what really matters.
“When death is denied, life loses its depth. The possibility of knowing who we are beyond names and form, the dimension of the transcendent, disappears from our lives because death is the opening into that dimension.” Eckhart Tolle
The last destination of this journey was Ieper (by its Flemish name). It’s a beautiful medieval town, once the battle fields of Ypres Salient and now home to the eye grabbing Menin memorial gate.
The gracious gate is a mausoleum that honors, by memorably inscribed names of 54,395 soldiers, who died in the Ypres Salient but whose bodies have never been found or identified on the wall.
After visiting the main attractions of Ypres (Ieper), waiting patiently along with other visitors to attend the Last Post ceremony at 8 p.m. in one of the coffee shops around the gate probably a common and interesting scene to be witnessed at Ypres.
Once the reminiscent sound of the Last Post started, you cannot help experiencing a moment of grace freeing from the illusion of reality, to be aware of your own mortality, to be open enough to channel the energy of the healing power of redemptive death and to realize a cosmic urge of letting it guide your life on earth for a greater purpose.
At last, I would like to leave you once again with another profound quote from a book called Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle “To every accident and disaster there is a potentially redemptive dimension that we are usually unaware of.”
Awareness and peace to the world.