Yesterday at Verdun was difficult. I thought I was prepared knowing it would stir memories and feelings of great sadness, but I could not have anticipated the degree of deep grief I experienced. We followed the “sacred road” along a portion of the “red area” where the 10 month Battle of Verdun took place. It was the longest battle of WW1 and one of the costliest for both the French and the Germans. Sixty million shells were fired. One million were sacrificed. Fifteen thousand soldiers are buried beneath white crosses and a rose bush grows at each cross. The estuary contains the bones of 130,000 additional soldiers who could not be identified. The miles and miles of land that was devastated and ravished along this Western Front is now heavily forested covering this sacred ground. Women as well lost their lives at Verdun – nurses and ambulance drivers. But they are not buried or remembered here where they fell at Verdun, but are buried elsewhere in France in a civilian cemetery. I did my best to remember them as well yesterday

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