Return From Europe

I’ve just returned from nearly three weeks in Europe, much of which was devoted to visiting battlefields and historic sites. I spent several days at Waterloo, and walked the field all day on the 200th anniversary of the battle on June 18; I also visited in turn Bastogne, Quatre Bras (also on the 200th anniversary of the action there), Ligny (ditto), Ghent, Flanders, Ypres, Vimy Ridge, the Somme, Cambrai, Reims, Verdun, Chateau-Thierry, the Meuse-Argonne, St. Mihiel, and Metz, before returning to my point of departure, Luxembourg City. It was a busy trip, and it took a day or so to recover fully from over 24 hours of continuous travel.

I’ll be posting my reflections on what I saw in the next several weeks: although I kept up with administering this blog despite uncertain internet connections, I decided to approach the events at Charleston and its aftermath with some caution as well as curiosity for how the story would play out. I’m pleased with that decision, because I think that for me, given where I was, prudence and restraint paid off. However, I know that there were people who wondered what was going on (or why I wasn’t speaking out more frequently on whatever they wanted to hear). I preferred in this instance to watch from afar and select my spots. After all, other historians were quite visible, including several who had not taken part in previous debates about Confederate heritage; moreover, judging from site hits and posts read, I know that this blog served as a resource for others curious about aspects of this discussion. Whether that makes me a “content blogger” is another matter altogether. 🙂

6 thoughts on “Return From Europe

  1. jclark82 July 1, 2015 / 2:45 pm

    This sounds like just about the perfect European trip to me! As a fan of Formula One (my screen name alludes to a two-time World Driving Champ) I must ask if you happened to go by the home of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps?

    I look forward to hearing about your trip!

    Jerry Sudduth Jr.

  2. John Foskett July 1, 2015 / 3:02 pm

    When you get to it, observations about those WWI battlefields would be welcome – especially (being a jingoist of sorts) C-T, the M-A, St. Mihiel, and Metz – and because it’s Canada Day, Vimy Ridge.

  3. M.D. Blough July 1, 2015 / 3:08 pm

    Brooks: Re: Charleston. I think a prudent and measured response was best. There was a lot of what my Scottish grandfather would call blather. What happened to those good people at the church was so horrific and the concerns about what the continued display of the Confederate flag on the grounds of the state capitol building represented, especially in terms of the history of South Carolina, were so serious that I think respect for those assassinated and the survivors and bereaved mandated prudence and restraint.

  4. James F. Epperson July 1, 2015 / 4:46 pm

    Color me jealous—Bastonge is on my “bucket list.”

    Welcome back.

  5. bob carey July 2, 2015 / 2:50 am

    As a matter of curiosity what ,if any, was the Europeans reaction to the tragic event in Charleston?

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