The different ways in which war dead are remembered reflects national cultural and religious traditions. For those who are interested, I wrote an article (published in Stand To! No.90, Dec2010/Jan2011) which contrasts and compares rituals of commemoration, with particular reference to Thiepval and Douaumont. The religious commemorative associations with human bones is pervasive in many, if not all, societies. It is only recently that Anglo-Saxon sensibilities are a little shocked to see bones on display.
All who are concerned about the subject discussed in this thread should read the article referenced here: Christopher Nash's "Great War Memorials: Memory and
National Identity," in "The Poppy" (September 2010). Nash presents an admirably informed and balanced discussion that addresses many of the issues
that have been raised by the contributors to the thread. Nash provides a clarifying perspective as follows:
"In contrast, many parts of Britain preferred a more utilitarian form of commemoration...The most common local British memprial is often in the form of a
simple Celtic cross. The inclusion of an ossuary as part of a war memorial provides the greatest contrast between British and French attempts to link
memory of conflict with individual identity. Being confronted today by human bones on display comes as a shock to the sensibilities of many Anglo-Saxons,
yet religious commemorative associations with human bones is pervasive in all societies. After the war in France, the Roman Catholic Church
actively promoted the creation of ossuaries..."
Nash provides an enlightening cross-cultural vantage to better understand such differences in values affecting memorials, commemoration,