Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembrance Day ---- Poppy Day

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.

John McCrae

John McCrae was a Canadian doctor who served in the First World War and in honour of his friend he wrote this very famous poem, In Flanders Field, which is commonly used on this day, November 11th, when we remember those who have died while fighting for their country. Click on the link to read it in full.

May I recommend two people who have written some very special posts with this day in mind.

James at Nourishing Obscurity wrote a very comprehensive and moving post of the story behind Armistice Day, with some additional thoughts on the Great War and the signing of the peace treaty here.

For those with an interest in History, this week the Political Umpire of Fora has written a series of posts about the First World War which I have found extremely informative and different to boot. It begins here, followed by Parts II, III, IV, V, and VI.

Earlier this week, many people posted Peace Globes. Maybe, one day, there will be no more wars. Even then we must never forget those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
from For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon

Lest we forget


I Beatrice said...

I have come across your blog through Lady M's, JMB, and thought you might like to know that in a pretty little hamlet near where I live (Petersham, near Richmond, in Surrey, England) there is a tiny church of historic associations - and in it is the grave of General Vancouver, who once lived in the area.

Many Canadian visitors make the pilgrimage there, I believe....

I Beatrice said...

Sorry - the earlier comment may have been misleading. The tomb is in the churchyard, not the church...

Sir James Badger said...

Nice, JMB and the Fora posts were informative. Lovely to ahve the Canadian perspective.

Janice Thomson said...

Great post Jmb. The links were interesting and informative too.

jams o donnell said...

It is a beautiful and moving poem jmb.

lady macleod said...

thank you, a timely post indeed. And we must not forget - not those who died, nor those who came home and must live with the memories. Oh, for a time of no wars... is that possible?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I didn't know anything about the author of the first poem, so thank you for that, jmb. If only we could live in a peaceful world.

MedStudentWife said...

Lovely blog JMB -

Did you know that he threw the poem in the trash & his friend pulled it out ? Otherwise it would never have been published, considering that John died not long after of pneumonia

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Well, if you lived in Birmingham, there was a 21st century battle today.

And I was on the losing side...

There are only 8 villages in the UK without the need for a war memorial commemorating the dead from WW1.

Makes you think though. The Whole Empire lost a million men- The russians lost 5million, one million of those at Tannenburg. And we think the Western Front was bad.

jmb said...

Hi I Beatrice,
Yes I do know about Captain Vancouver being buried at St Peter's. Vancouver pays for the upkeep of the grave and also arranges for flowers on the anniversary of his death.

Hi James,
Thanks to you and PU for the wonderful posts I was able to link to.

Hi Janice,
I'm glad you enjoyed my simple post with the excellent links.

Hi Jams,
Both poems are part of my childhood memories of Remembrance Day celebrations at school.

Hi Lady Mac,
You're right, not only the dead made such heroic sacrifices but those who survived to relive their terrible experiences over and over.

Our own Canadian John McCrae who wrote that poem. I can't really believe peace will come to us for it always seems there is war somewhere.

I read that about the poem almost being lost. It was sad that he died himself anyway although not from injuries.

Hi Crushed,
Sorry about your team losing, and an inadvertant own goal to boot.

The First World War seemed to be so horrific for so many. Imagine only 8 villages untouched by losses. The Russians always seem to be losing on a enormous scale.

Did you ever read the Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman? I read it a long time ago but remember it as very informative about the beginning of this war.

Political Umpire said...

Thanks so much for the kind words and the links, and indeed for an interesting post concerning the poetry.

Crushed - we in the West do tend to focus a bit much on our own losses in the two world wars. Have a look at the casualty figures for the Chinese in WWII (beginning as it did for them in the mid 30s) for some frightening numbers ...

Carver said...

That's a beautiful post JMB. My daughter and her father went to Battery Park and found Bill's uncle's name on a wall with those lost. I'll have to wait for my daughter to email me the picture they took to be clear on what it was but I was really touched that they found it. My sisters and I had a separate outing and Bill and Judith did that spur of the moment. When they told me that's what they ended up doing, it meant a lot to me that they were able to find it. Bill never knew that Uncle since he died during WW II. I wish my mother in law was still alive to see the picture they took of her brother's name. I can see her smiling. Take care, Carver

Dragonstar said...

This is a very emotional time for so many. We must never forget the suffering and the death.

On a lighter note, I hope you don't mind - I've tagged you with the 'Eight Things About Me' meme.

jmb said...

I found your series very interesting and as I said highlighting some differences from general beliefs.

Hi Carver,
Thanks, just a simple thing really. That was a nice thing to do for your daughter and her dad on Remembrance Day.

Hi Dragonstar,
We should all stop and take the time to remember the war dead, soldiers and civilians alike.
Oh dear, I've done that meme twice already, I might have trouble coming up with things but thanks for thinking of me.


Chrysalis Angel said...