Sunday, 11 March 2018

"There is no death. No fearful darksome night. It is the entrance to eternal light."

To begin our Sunday, we headed out to the National Monument Kamp Vught. On our way to Vught, our tour guide prepared the students for what they were going to see in order to make the history from the classroom come alive and bring the experience from our heads to our hearts. We started our visit with a 20-minute walk through the woods following the steps of over 300 prisoners who were lead to their deaths at the execution site in late 1944. Our group left with an unsettled feeling as we walked away.

Back at the monument camp, there were many striking images and poignant moments. One of the most chilling spots was the memorial to the over 1200 children who were separated from their parents and sent on a train to one of the extermination camps.

At the Bergen Op Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Mr. Wassink led us in a remembrance of the soldiers who died after D-Day, and made connections to our faith walk as Christians. Following the singing of “Abide with Me” and a prayer, we wandered through the cemetery reading the names, ages, and epitaphs written on the hundreds of tombstones. We were all struck by the young ages of the fallen soldiers. It was a sombre day of reflection and expressing gratitude for the freedom we enjoy as Canadians.

In spite of the heaviness of the day, we enjoyed the countryside while travelling through three countries finally arriving in Arras, France for a diner extraordinaire. As one parent said, "That was amazing chicken!"

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