Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Battle of Verdun

By I.G. Age 13
On Veterans Day, November 11, 2015, my family and I visited Verdun, France. We visited the World War I memorial there. Fought by the Germans and the French, the Battle of Verdun lasted nine months and three weeks. Around 714,231 people were killed. The Battle of Verdun ended up being the longest conflict during that war.

On February 21, 1916, a shot from the Germans hit a cathedral in Verdun, starting the battle where many men lost their lives fighting. There are many memorials for the men who died fighting. One of them, the Douaumont Ossuary, has hundreds of bones from unknown soldiers.  

So many were killed, that identification was difficult. In a small part of the museum of the Douaumont Ossuary there are rings, guns, hats, knives, and other things found over time buried in the ground. The Douaumont Ossuary also has a 20-minute documentary on the Battle of Verdun, and of course it includes a small gift shop. This was a unique trip for me because it is one of the few sites I’ve seen relating to WWI. While I have been to many WWII memorials, this took me back a little further in history.