Sunday, 9 November 2008

In Flanders Fields

The nation's heart is found within its poets:

November 11 is Remembrance Day, the day we honour our war dead in Canada. I could write about Canadians who died for our country, 60,000 in WWI alone. I could give you statistics and facts. And it probably wouldn't mean much to you.

But the words of Lieutenant Colonel, Dr. John McCrae, a Canadian Veteran of the Boer War and World War I, will reach you. He died in January 1918, while World War I raged. He never lived to see the armistice; never returned to tell his war stories to Canadians.

Yet, his hope for us remains as lively as it was when he scratched these words on to paper as a battle raged. He remains a hero to his nation. For the past 80 years, every English speaking school child in Canada has recited these words.

In Flander Fields
By John McCrae

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.


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