Never have I been so happy to live in the time of the world wide web, as I could see and share all the forms of remembrance this past weekend as the world marked the centenary of the end of World War I. I have been profoundly touched by the cumulative efforts in Britain, starting with the amazing installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red four years ago, and under the auspices of the 14-18 Now WWI Centenary Arts Commission more poignant and engaging initiatives and installations followed, right up to the centenary of Armistice Day. The culture of commemoration in Britain appears deeply ingrained from my vantage point, but as the First World War was a global event so too is its remembrance: there were thoughtful exhibitions and installations in all of the Commonwealth countries, across continental Europe, and here in the United States. Here in Salem, I was really happy to see the Salem Maritime National Historic Site tell the story of the Second Corps of Cadets during the Great War on facebook all day long on Sunday, and more than a little confused that the Peabody Essex Museum decided to have a festive “dance party” the night before.
My favorite expressions of remembrance are below, but please nominate others! There is a much more comprehensive roundup of #ArmisticeDay100 in its entirety on Google Arts and Culture.
November 13th, 2018 at 11:13 am
Another out-of-touch moment for PEM? An opportunity lost. But these pictures were stunning, and THANK YOU, dear Donna, for this remembrance! (My spouse, a vet, will also thank you!) Francie
November 13th, 2018 at 11:21 am
Thanks, Francie! I hate to be so down on PEM all the time, REALLY, but the timing of this gala really struck me as odd. Such a poignant weekend.
November 13th, 2018 at 2:15 pm
PS, I found this comment on your site — from PEM, perhaps?:
“You might want to go see what they’re up to! Perhaps you will like their blog as much as they liked your comment!” (Was that standard-response talk? Or was it from PEM?? Anyway, it was curious and oddly timed, after my remark about PEM!)
November 13th, 2018 at 11:47 am
Thanks for this important posting.
I esp loved seeing the poppies on The Sydney Opera House!
Minister talked about the poem, In Flanders
Field, this past Sunday.
November 13th, 2018 at 5:18 pm
“There but not there” was absolutely spooky and spectacular at the same time. Thanks for the shot.
November 14th, 2018 at 8:57 pm
Thanks for keeping the commemoration of WWI alive for your readers. May I share a memory?
In June 2014 when visiting London I dropped into the SILVER VAULTS on Chancery Lane, an underground shopping experience that houses “the largest collection of silver for sale in the world.” Needless to say, I did not buy anything that day.
But on the way out, I started chatting with an older gentlemen who was a “guard” I guess you would say. No one else was around. We started chatting about WWI. His face lit up. I told him about a book on the subject I had just read by John Keegan. He told me about all of the battlefields he had visited in Belgium and France. Both of his grandfathers had served. He said that he hoped someday to visit Gettysburg. He asked if I had gone there to which I replied, “No, it would be too painful.”
We continued to chat. As I left, I sensed that we could have talked all day. Perhaps it was lonely in the vaults. I offer this vignette to illustrate how so many ordinary Brits are totally invested in the history and remembrance of WWI. Later I bought a poppy at the Imperial War Museum which I sport around this time of year…