One week ago was the anniversary of the end of World War I — the Great War which took 10 million lives. On November 11, 1918, the armistice was signed in a train car in the woods east of Compiègne, France, a train car which I visited by bike with Lynn Palermo during our backpacking trip in July 2010. This trip took us along almost 270 miles of the Western Front, 76 of which we walked. Through our footsteps, I realized that war is not just an event on the news or in the history books; it is disease that cripples a nation in a way that is only still visible in its landscape.
To fully appreciate the following post, first read this article by Mail Online which showcases some stunning photography by British photographer Michael St. Maur Sheil of the scars left behind in present-day France. I recognized many of his scenes and have duplicated my own photography below.