Family · Travel

Day Thirteen: Living History

Today was interesting, and very emotional. However, I am going to write only briefly on it now, and update it when I am home (tomorrow). Most of our day consisted of WWI memorials, and I do poorly with those. And these were very moving.
Not-so-fun Fact: the grave of the youngest soldier I saw was a 14 year old boy. There were also a lot of 17, 18 and 19 year olds. As a 22 year old girl who has, over all, had a mostly blessed life, this broke my heart.
Had they even experienced their first love?
We visited Anzac Cove, Lone Pine/Blood Hill and the Turkish Memorial and trenches at the top.
The following is on a large plaque outside the Anzac Cove Cemetery:

“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… You are now living in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of our. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

Ataturk, 1934

Fun fact: during the battles, after the fighting was done for the day, the two sides would come together and eat. Also, Muslim oppositions (ie, Turkish Muslims and Indian Muslims, etc.) would pray together five times a day. Also, the following happened multiple times: a soldier would be wounded in the middle of no man’s land, and so a soldier of the opposition would climb out of the trenches, walk across, pick him up, and bring him back to his side, and then walk back, and no one would shoot him.
It is that sort of thing that gives me hope for humanity.

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