Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You Veterans

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


Donna said...

I clicked to you from Lotus' blog.

I love that poem. I didn't remember it until a friend posted it today. Here's a link to a site with a bit more information about it in case you're curious.
In Flanders Fields Story

Doug Ferguson said...

This poem was better studied in the U.S. in the past. I heard it at various points growing up but it didn't really hit home until one January day I was on a tour of WWI battlefields in said Flanders Fields just outside of Brugge, Belgium. It was one of the snowiest, freezingest days this Michigan boy had ever had the pleasure to stand outside in and our tour guide had us all get out of the bus so we could stand on the field of battle while he read the poem. It put the whole thing in perspective, imagining four long years in those fields when after four short minutes we all scrambled back to the bus to get some cocoa.

Anonymous said...

You look gorgeous! I hope you had a good time.


Simple Answer said...

tears. what a beautiful poem. never have I heard of it. i'm looking for red poppies next year.