Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day --- Poppy Day 2009

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.

Last week, many people posted Peace Globes, as did I. 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.

Lest we forget


Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Thank you.

"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."

Sean Jeating said...

Well, and as we are at it, not to forget the most peace-yearning tenth line:
Take up our quarrel with the foe:.

The peace of the night.

CherryPie said...

We must always remember the ultimate sacrifice and the futility of war!

jmb said...

Hi Nick. Every Remembrance Day when I was in school we read this poem and it is emblazoned in my mind.

What can I say Sean? Will we ever learn?

Indeed Cherie. How sad too that we sacrifice our youth.

Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moggs Tigerpaw said...

If only things could be settled without war, or even violence.

Sadly all the while even a few people resort to it then we all must be ready for it.

We owe it to ourselves and to them to remember those who put themselves in harms way for us all.

Smalltown RN said...

hello my friend...long time no visit....I see you and I both spoke about McCrae. I posted about how I had an opportunity a few years back to meet a relative of his...I felt very privelaged....In Flanders Field is an amazing poem.

Political Umpire said...

Hello JMB, glad to see you marking Remembrance Day. I am spending some rare spare time on the blogosphere, and even posted a few bits of doggerel I was writing for other purposes before deciding just to blog them and start something else.

Anyway I was discussing In Flanders Fields recently with a colleague. What seems not well known nowadays (in this country at least) is that it is actually a pro war poem. The message (the poem was written during the war) is that we must take up the mantle from the dead and finish the struggle, or their loss will have been in vain.

McCrae himself was true to his word. When in hospital towards the end of the war, he said that it wouldn't be doctors who won the war but men with guns, and asked to return to the front. He died of influenza as I recall.

Trust you are well


Sean Jeating said...

Glad to see the master of 'Fora' back and clarifying this.
It's always better an esteemed Englishman does it than a 'nitpicking' German. :)

Political Umpire said...

Thanks Sean, I'm only partly English (more a Kiwi), but we were on the same side ... As it happens I've just been visiting the Somme, very moving to see how small the ground was that so many hundreds of thousands died fighting over. Managed to find something in the iron harvest too.

jmb said...

It's a dilemma for us all isn't Moggs? I'm afraid I bury my head in the sand, being more of a pacifist but we should never forget these young men and women who went or were sent to fight for others.

Hi Mary Anne, this poem is so much part of my memory of Remembrance day.

Good to see you PU. Do you know I almost included a link your series of posts for Remembrance Day again, as I did the past two years but finally did not. Actually I am sure you are right about McCrae's poem being pro war. The sentiment about war at the time was so different from today.

Did PU beat you to it Sean? No matter the reason behind the poem at that time for today we chose to remember the dead with it and hope that someday it will not be necessary to ask these sacrifices of our young people.

Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting.