In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields
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.

For more about the author, and the circumstances under which the poem was composed, visit “The Heritage of the Great War” and the “In Flanders Fields Museum” websites. I should note that the word “Great,” as applied to WWI, denotes scope/scale. For ideas on how to honor veterans, you may want to visit E Pluribus Media’s page on activities for Military Remembrance Month.

Although the artist John Singer Sargeant is best known for his exquisite portraits, his large scale painting, Gassed (below), is a vivid reminder of the reality of war. It provides an unforgettable accompaniment to Wilifred Owen’s horrifying poem, “Dulce et Decorum Est.”

A children’s book that might be appropriate for Memorial Day is A Poppy is to Remember by Heather Patterson and Ron Lightburn. It seems to be available primarily through Canadian publishers, but it appears worth looking for.

In loving memory of those in my family who have served in conflicts through the centuries, especially–

Howard Calvin Hanes (1931-2003) WWII

Marion Erroll, John Vernon, and Roy Daniel Shearin- WWI

And those who supported them by faithfully serving from the homefront, especially–

Edward Jackson Potter (1912-1993)

2 Responses

  1. Peggy Gaddis says:

    I really was touched by the poem. In reading the words “We lived, saw dawn, felt sunset glow, loved and were loved” show us these were living, breathing men and women who gave their lives for us to have freedom. They are dead, but will never be forgotten for their sacrifice. They pass the torch to us to defend freedom. Thank you for sharing this poem with us. Peggy

  2. Great poem! Thanks for the links.

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