10 November 2010

Remembrance Day In Flanders Fields

(poppies in a Southern Alberta garden)
In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieut.-Col. John McCrae MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

This poem was written in a moment of anguish and frustration by Major John McCrae. He had just performed the burial service, in the chaplain's absence, for a young friend and student who had been killed by a shell burst in March 1915. As he sat there in the back of the ambulance the next day after the service, looking out at the scene of poppies growing amongst the headstones, he vented his anger and frustration in this poem. Today it is one of the most well-known poems written during war time, a legacy of the battle of Ypres salient, spring 1915.

November 11 is Remembrance Day in Canada (Veteran's Day in the USA).  The day we commemorate in solemn remembrance to those soldiers who fought for this country, who died for our freedom, and we remember those who continue to do so. 
May God be with you.


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I don't think I've read this poem before. I also don't think I knew the how the poppy became a symbol for Veterans Day. I remember as a kid seeing the Veterans giving them out at stores.
I highly admire all the men and women who have given their lives for their country.

Halcyon said...

Perfect shot and poem for Veteren's Day.

Rambling Woods said...

Lovely tribute....and info I didn't know...Michelle


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