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I did a lot of searching through my picture files today, looking for images that would best answer Ailsa’s Travel Theme challenge on Where’s My Backpack? at http://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/05/23/metal/ which this week is the subject Metal. There were plenty of choices; statues, bridges, cars, ships and all kinds of things. But then I got to thinking about this particular day, Memorial Day and I found my answer right there.

travel theme metal 1

My grandfather enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery during World War One and saw action in France and Belgium, as a driver in charge of the horses that pulled the big gun carriages, for which he received the Victory and British War medals in recognition of his service. The conditions under which he served were horrendous and undoubtedly tested his mettle, but he was one of the lucky ones. He got to return home to his family. Many didn’t and we remember and salute those who fought so bravely for their countries and paid the ultimate price.

travel theme metal 2

My mother recalled one incident that her father recounted after the war, of a time when they were marching through a village in Belgium, when a young girl broke out of the welcoming crowd to press a prayer book into his hand and say “God bless you.” My mother often credited this young Belgian’s good wishes for keeping him safe during the fighting.