My family and I visited when our twins were seventeen. As hard a place as was is to be, as many ghosts as we felt and as much as we looked at our sons and thought, "It could have been them," it was necessary to have gone.
The Battle for Verdun, also called "The Meatgrinder," for terrible and obvious reasons, wae the apex of Hell for World War I.
and lengthiest in world history. Never before or since has there been such a protracted battle involving so many men, situated on such a tiny piece of land.
The battle, which lasted from February, 1916 until December, 1916 caused over an estimated 700,000 casualties (dead, wounded and missing). The battlefield was not even a square ten kilometers.
|A vew of Verdun today|
Rather, we tried to empathize with what must have been the horror of it all and the useless slaughter of a whole generation of young men.
On December 19, 1916, the Germans surrendered to the French. Little comfort, I should think, other than more lives were not lost at Verdun. It is a sad place, a tragic place, a not to be forgotten place. A place where humanity should have learned everything there was to learn about the futility of war. Alas, that was not the case, and the mad march of humans toward war never ceases.