Rotary Peace Fellows from the University of Bradford visit World War I sites in France and Belgium.
By Holly White, Class XV, Rotary Peace Center at the University of Bradford, England
Earlier this month, I took part in a tight, four-day trip to World War I battlefields and commemorative sites in France and Belgium with other Rotary Peace Fellows at the University of Bradford (including one Fellow’s sweet, energetic daughter!), host coordinators, and a few others connected to Rotary.
From the perspective of a Peace Fellow, it was interesting and, at times uncomfortable learning about the “Great War,” and how war is interpreted, commemorated, and, at times, glorified. Within the company of our group we had many moments of reflection alongside thought-provoking conversations about how war memorials and commemorations can be powerful sites of dialogue and reconciliation.
What does the site aim to do? Who is the intended audience? How is history portrayed? Whose story is being told? What voices may be left out? How does power play out in the initiation and maintenance of such sites? During the trip, and maybe even more so afterwards, there was space to ponder these questions, as well as honour what was lost.
Source:: Rotary International Blog