In order to unite yesterday’s enemies, Philippe Prost chose the ring as a figure to bring together the names of the 600,000 soldiers who died on the battlefields in the Nord-Pas de Calais, thinking of the circle formed by people holding hands. The ring is synonymous with unity and eternity: unity because the names form a sort of human chain, and eternity because the letters are joined without an end, in alphabetical order without any distinction of nationality, rank or religion.
Located on the site, the ring takes the form of an ellipse with one side pointed towards the entrance to the cemetery, and the other side towards the Artois plain.
The choice of a horizontal position for the Memorial seemed obvious: first of all, in response to the verticality of the lantern tower, and then because, beyond that, the horizontal is a sign of balance, a guarantee of durability.
Anchored in the ground across two-thirds of its perimeter, the ring then detaches where the downward slope of the land increases. Its cantilevered ring is there to remind us that peace always remains fragile. By rushing forward to assault the horizon, the Memorial creates a weightless space, between heaven and earth.
regardless of nationality, rank or religion, the names of 579,606 soldiers, now united forever in a common humanity.
The ring of remembrance, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, Nord-Pas de Calais, France
Architects: Philippe Prost
Supported by: Ministère délégué aux Anciens Combattants, Conseil Général du Nord, Conseil régional Nord-Pas de Calais and Lens-Liévin Conglomeration