1917 in Flanders Fields: The Seeds for the Commemorative War Landscape in Belgian Flanders
Today Ypres and the surrounding First World War battlefields of Flanders are among the most visited places where the war is commemorated. A century after the conflict, Piet Chielens, Director of In Flanders Fields Museum, identifies three factors of 1917 that make Flanders a genius loci of the commemorative war landscape. Firstly, the military actions that made it one of the most terrible and international battlefields of the war. Secondly, the decision of the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission to rebury the dead near to where they were originally interred has maintained interest in the battles by those visiting for remembrance purposes. And, thirdly, the foundational myths of some combatant nations including Australia, Belgium, Canada, and New Zealand are intrinsically linked to this landscape.
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