Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day

In Flanders Fields
by Lieutenant Colonel John McRae

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.

This famous poem was written in May 1915 and has been learned by countless schoolchildren, myself included. More than the ubiquitous red poppies that everyone seems to wear at this time of year, this is what I think of when I think of Remembrance Day.

I picture McRae writing this on a piece of paper on his comrade's back during a lull in the fighting as he tried to deal with the death of one of his friends and it makes the ultimate sacrifice made by so many through the years more personal, more real.

May we all merit to live in a time when all our soldiers everywhere will come home safely.

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