In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (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
McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" remains to this day one of the most memorable war poems ever written. It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915. Hostilities in that "War To End All Wars" did not cease until the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.
We set aside this day to remember all who have served, and all who continue to serve, to preserve our freedom. Originally called Armistice Day, the day is now commemorated here in the United States as Veterans Day, and in Britain and Canada as Rememberance Day. The poppy, which bloomed in blood red profusion across the fields of Flanders, has come to symbolize the sacrifice of those who gave their lives.