I got another postcard from Belgium! This is a multiview of Ypres (or Ieper in Dutch), a town in the northwesternmost province of West Flanders. Ypres is a town marked with a turbulent past – during WWI, a number of battles were fought within its midst. As a result, it was nearly completely leveled. Humongous efforts were put into the restoration of the town, making sure to keep the designs as close to the original as possible. One such landmark that was affected was the Cloth Hall, a 14th-century commercial building used for Ypres’ cloth industry. This is partially depicted in the bottom two panesl (though I’m not certain what the cats are? They do have a cuteness to them, I’ll admit…) The Cloth Hall houses the In Flanders Field Museum, which was created to share research on WWI in Flanders and the consequences of the war. The name comes from a war poem by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, which starts with these three words. The poem mentions how poppies (like those seen on the right side of this card) seem to grow around the graves of the fallen soldiers. This spurred the creation of the remembrance poppy, an artificial poppy to honor them. I can only imagine how humbling the experience to visit this museum would be. There is also the Cross of Sacrifice (top-left), which was designed in 1918 and serves as a war memorial. As you can see, there is also a cemetery that sits by the memorial. Yet another memorial is Menin Gate (top-center), where the names of nearly 55,000 soldiers are inscribed. These soldiers have no known graves. Every night at 8pm, buglers of the Last Post Association close off the road and play “The Last Post”, which is a salute and act of homage to the fallen soldiers. This has gone on every day since 1928, with only a few instances where it had to be done elsewhere during WWII. This town has quite a solemn history – and while it’s saddening in some senses, it’s beautiful in others as it makes a difference through its research, its storytelling and its reverence to the departed. Remarkable postcard – thank you so much Hilda for sending this one to me!