Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day: Keep Faith, Take Up Their Torch!

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.
John McCrae wrote In Flanders Fields. He was a medical officer in both the Boer War and World War I. A year into the latter war he published in Punch magazine, on December 8, 1915, the sole work by which he would be remembered. This poem commemorates the deaths of thousands of young men who died in Flanders during the grueling battles there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dr. John McCrae of Guelph, Ontario Canada is well known for other published poems and for his medical contributions. He died of disease in the Great War before he reached 5O, in Jan 1918 and is buried in France 'In Flanders Fields' was not just a flash in the pan by an unknown - this myth seems to emerge from a US TV cartoon c 1990s, the Simpsons. Many bios online but check his identity file on Canada's VIRTUAL WAR MEMORIAL (Vets Affairs web project) for more informantion rgds