Today is Veterans Day in the US. Many of us will see VFW members handing out the red poppies and collecting donations. Dave and I got our poppies at the Base in Wiesbaden this weekend. Along with the poppies we were given a brochure explaining the poppies. On the back was a poem that is the origin of the idea of red poppies being a flower of remembrance. The brochure stated the poem was known to all children in the United States.
I was an American child and I don't know this poem. I was an American school teacher and I don't know this poem. It wasn't in the books anywhere I can recall. Maybe it is in the books for older children. Perhaps the brochure should have said all American school children SHOULD know this poem.
In Flanders Fields
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.Col. John McCrae