Along the Mall in Washington D.C. a national monument and memorial to World War I is ominously missing. I'd always felt bad about this until I crested an isolated hill above the village of Montsec and saw a stunning Doric temple rising above the trees.
Montsec is farm, pasture, and orchard country. On that clear evening I could see mile after mile of isolated rural landscape in every direction.
The sun began to set, coloring the clouds pink and orange where they met the dark green of the land at the horizon.
Apparently, after WWI, the US Government invested millions in building monuments commemorating victorious battles and the military dead in the exact locations where they took place.
The sublime beauty of the classic architecture and tranquil landscape are a fitting monument to war and the peace it eventually brought to this bit of rural paradise.
Montsec is situated immediately above the village of the same name, is about 190 miles from Paris, and 20 from Metz, the nearest major city with rail service.