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In Remembrance of the Brave and Noble Who Served

11 November, 2014

Time moves on and we have reached another Armistice Day (in modern parlance Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth and Veterans Day in the US).  It originally served as a remember of the end of the Great War, the Armistice that ended the war starting at 11:11am on 11 November, 1918, and those who served and died there.  Since then, it has been expanded to include the many others who have served and died for their country in honorable service through the years.  This year, being the hundredth anniversary of the start of the Great War, evokes the memories of that conflict with a deeper resonance.

If you remember, pause for a minute of silence to honor the brave soldiers and other members of the armed forces that have guarded us -and still do- at 11:11am.

While it has been my wont in recent years to find poems from lesser known war poets, this year, partly in honor of the superb and moving field of poppies display at the Tower of London (properly called “Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red” by ceramic artist Paul Cummins), I am using the poem which inspired it:

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae (1872 – 1918)

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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