In today’s world: One can use Google Earth to visit the Western Front; One can watch videos of the battlefields and of the various battles on-line; One can scour archives for photographs and letters, etc. With the coming of virtual reality, one will even be able to walk a trench line. So why is visiting the battlefields still important?
Last week the webmaster and his father were watching a (VHS) video of their 1993 battlefield tour with Stephen Skinner and his mother. Stephen, who is a professional announcer, stated it this way:
“… the reason that we’re all here is because so many people died… and you hear the numbers and you read the books, and you know the names of the cities and the towns and the commanders and what happened, but until you come here and see the sheer numbers… you don’t realize what it all means.”
In 2005, twelve years later, the webmaster took members of his reenacting unit on a battlefield tour. It’s safe to say that two of the participants especially had a “religious” moment; especially when the first-time battlefield visitors and reenactors walked over the ground near Verdun where the unit fought in Spring 1916.
During these Centennial years the webmaster would encourage everyone who has thought about visiting the battlefields to plan a trip. This site has many tips to help readers; and more will be coming. Stay tuned for more announcements from the Webmaster in the coming months.