Flanders Fields

It was called ‘The War to End All Wars,’ but 95 years later the world is still gripped in a whirlwind of violence.

So, on this Veteran’s Day I’d like to post a poem that illustrates the all-consuming nature of war. “In Flanders Fields” was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a soldier in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces, during World War I.

In Flanders field 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 dies
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders field.

When I was living in London I noticed a phenomenon that draws its origins from this poem. During the month of November everyone from politicians to the man who distributes the free paper outside the tube station, everyone, wears a poppy on their lapel in solidarity and in remembrance. They even have a video on how to properly wear your poppy.

However you choose to honor Veteran’s Day, remember those who have fought and those who, as President Lincoln said, “gave the last full measure of devotion.”

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