Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Battle of the Somme...and Ultrarunning

From this month's Smithsonian Magazine, a photographic essay about WWI.

Image credit: Michael St. Maur Sheil and Smithsonian Magazine

Even today, a century after the start of the Great War, the countryside still bears scars. In this image by Irish landscape photographer Michael St. Maur Sheil at the site of the Battle of the Somme, in northern France, you can trace grass-covered trenches and pockmarks from exploded bombshells. More than a million men were wounded or killed in the battle, the first major British offensive of the war.

Stuff like this just boggles the mind.  Human destruction on the scale of WWI is still incomprehensible to me today, and images like this just fill me with an almost inexpressible void for all the lives affected by mankind's stupidity.

I've blogged before here about my great grandfather, Julius Brinkmann, a common soldier on the Western Front, who happened to wear the uniform of Germany.  You can read more here if you wish.

Ultrarunning offers me some solace to this vast sadness.  You get to pick your antidote.

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