Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day
Today is Remembrance Day in Australia.
Kate has a moving story about Simpson and his donkey here.

The Flanders poppy has been a part of Armistice or Remembrance Day ritual since the early 1920s and is also increasingly being used as part of ANZAC Day observances. During the First World War, red poppies were seen to be among the first living plants that sprouted from the devastation of the battlefields of northern France and Belgium. Soldiers' folklore had it that the poppies were vivid red from having been nurtured in ground drenched with the blood of their comrades. The sight of the poppies on the battlefield at Ypres in 1915 moved Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae to write the poem In Flanders Fields.

(Australian War Memorial)

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.

Lt.-Col. John McCrae


5 comments:

Paul Merrill said...

Glad you were able to remember.

In the States, it's a government holiday, but very few businesses take the day off.

I am thankful for those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Priscilla said...

What an amazing poem. It is well known here as well.

Megs said...

sobering...

Priscilla said...

Hello again. You have been tagged. I don't usually do the tag thing...but this time it looked interesting and a little fun. See my blog for info.

Sunshine said...

Oh man, I wasn't quite ready for that. It reminds me of Gettysburg. Despite the symbolism behind them, they are striking and beautiful.

That really moved me.