i didn't know whether to laugh or cry when i saw this. Sand-bags of dirt dug up from WW1 battlefields being given ritualised military salutes and parades and turned into holy relics. It's incredible, beyond comprehension and it isn't even next year yet.
According to Flemish tourism chiefs – who with Belgium's government have invested more than 50m euros (£42m; $67m) in centenary events – the anniversary is likely to make the many "must-see" WW1 attractions in the region even more popular than they were before. My emphasis.
If using this soil was just symbolic of the fighting, it would be easier to understand. But this goes beyond that to the same kind of thinking which gives us homeopathic 'remedies' or 'halal' meat. A very odd kind of fetishism.