Field of Honour – Field of Life

Rows of meandering white stones engraved with names and dates are the silent, unmoving witnesses of many young lives that came to an early, abrupt and often violent end.

For those of us who visit and who take the time to absorb the information engraved on the stones – 17 years of age, 19, 29, 23 years of age….. five young family members side-by side … it is hard to remain untouched by the unfinished life stories that these stones represent.

Nothing however, prepares us for the impact of seeing a living person symbolising a life that was brought to an abrupt end by war, standing behind a grave as we walk further into the field. Or for the 10, 20, more than 100 people, each standing by a gravestone, each a living witness honouring a life that was lost.

Those behind the graves correspond in age to the age marked under the name on the gravestone at their feet.

For a moment in time, the life lost and the story beyond the stone has a living face that we can all relate to: each face could have been someone we love – a father or grandfather, brother, son, cousin, mother or sister.

Each, whether they be military or civilian, with hopes, plans and dreams for the future that they did not live long enough to experience.

Beyond words, visitors both young and old, students, teachers, military and representatives standing behind the graves who experience this ‘Field of Honour, Field of Life’ come to recognise the impact what it truly represents at a deeper inner level.

Not because they are told or because they see, but because for a moment in time they become part of the experience.

Images by:  Tina Willekes Scoon