11 November 2010

Lest We Forget

Today, 11 November, is Remembrance Day.

The poem In Flanders Fields is perhaps one of the best known of its kind and often used to mark this day. It was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae who was a surgeon during the battle of Ypres. The poem was first published in December 1915, and the poppies referred to in it have become symbolic of Remembrance Day.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
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.

~ John McCrae

The eBook In Flanders Fields and other poems about war by John McCrae can be borrowed from the library.