Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank a Veteran

The bucolic meadows of Flanders had long been graced by brilliant red poppies each spring and summer, but during the Great War, the poppies disappeared. The constant trampling and bombing of the battlefields stopped the famous bloom for four full seasons. When the war was over, and the poppies were able to bloom again, the display was spectacular.

The post-war, blood red bloom from the fields of battle had a huge impact on all who saw or heard about it. Surely the most lasting memorial is the famous poem by Canadian battle surgeon/poet, John McCrae. This poem was written as he gazed at the fresh graves of his friends and comrades, with poppies “blowing” in the wind.

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae
Written in Flanders on May 3, 1915

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.

My generation has been blessed, in that few were called to military service. To those that have served, have children or family members serving, THANK YOU.



SouthernProletariat said...

As is our tradition, the girls made cards last night to give to those we know.

Thank you to all Veterans past and present...

Main Line Sportsman said...

I have always been moved by that poem....I did a report about it in grade school for a 4th grade poetry lesson. Great post!

Patsy said...

I remember the WWI vets selling poppies on Veterans Day, when I was a kid. I can't imagine there are too many left.

Thank you for your service, Toad.

Jg. for FatScribe said...

well said, Toad. thanks for the great post.

"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

all of those WWII and Korean and Vietnam vets should live and be well and blessed for their service!!

Anonymous said...

You just have perfect pitch, Mr. Toad. You've made our day with this commemorative post, thank you.

Shelley said...

Wonderful poem. I'd not encountered it before. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

Pigtown-Design said...

One of the things I miss most about living in the UK is that almost everyone you see wears a poppy for the week or so around Veterans Day. It is a uniting theme throughout the country with all sorts of people, from HM on down, wearing the exact same thing.