In Flanders Fields

November 10, 2019

In celebration of our veterans on Veterans’ Day in Canada, US and elsewhere, I am sharing this poem by John McCrae, to honor of our brave, selfless veterans who gave their lives for world peace. May they rest in peace.

In Flanders 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.

“In Flanders Fields” is a war poem written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres. “In Flanders Fields” was first published on December 8 of that year in the London magazine, Punch.

It is one of the most quoted poems from the war. As a result of its immediate popularity, parts of the poem were used in efforts and appeals to recruit soldiers and raise money selling war bonds. Its references to the red poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers resulted in the remembrance poppy becoming one of the world’s most recognized memorial symbols for soldiers who have died in conflict. The poem and poppy are prominent Remembrance Day and Veterans Day symbols for soldiers who have died in combat.

Veterans’ Day is an official United States, United Kingdom, and Canadian public holiday, observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans who served in their countries’ Armed Forces.

Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.

God bless our veterans for their services and sacrifices they and their families make year-round. How do you plan to honor our veterans?

Author Bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, psychologist and author of award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life.  Carole. Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.