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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Flanders Fields

This is one of my favourite poems

by Lt.Col. John McCrae

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.

World War I - Ypres, Municipality in Flanders, Belgium.

In the poem by John McCrae 'In Flanders Fields' poppies are referred to, but why poppies?
The answer is simple: poppies only flower in rooted up soil. Their seeds can lie on the ground for years and years. They will sprout only when someone roots up the ground. Battlefields during the war, churned up the soil while dead soldiers laid on the ground and the poppies blossomed.
Canadian Lieutenant Col. John Alexander McCrae was born in Guelph, Ontario. Poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I, and a surgeon during the battle of Ypres, he is best known for writing the above war memorial poem.
Remembering the War Dead everywhere.
Lest we forget.