In Flanders Fields…

John McCrae’s World War I poem “In Flanders Fields” is one of the most well known written works from the Great War. For myself, it is one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever read, and I can recite it word for word. Written on the battlefield by McCrae in 1915 after attending the funeral of a close friend, the poem describes the cost of war, the sacrifices of soldiers, and the fear of the millions who lost their lives that it has all been in vain. Every year on November 11th, we stand in silence to remember those sacrifices and those millions lost, and we stand together as one to show that it has not been in vain, for we will never forget. Today I will stand, poppy over my heart, and think of John McCrae, who in the midst of hell managed to create something beautiful. As I give my two minutes of silence, I will recite those immortal words, “In Flanders Fields the poppies blow…”

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.

– John McCrae

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