Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

In Flanders Fields

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, 1915
Canadian poet and medical officer in the Boer War and World War I

Today I remember and honor my father-in-law, who served in the U.S. Army, and was part of the Normandy invasion of World War II in 1944, and all those who have served and are serving my country. I think of the terrible sacrifices they and their families have made so that we can live our lives as we do. Of my own father's service in the Marine Corps. And of all the young people of all nations whom we send to war.

The poem above has been interpreted as both pro-war and anti-war by different people. I like the ambiguity, and prefer to think that the poet’s reference to “the foe” refers to war itself. Let it end.


  1. God bless all our brave young, both men and women, who serve our nation. And, yes, let war end.

  2. Yes, let it end
    Thanks to your father-in-law and all those other brave soldiers from the USA, Canada and Poland we, in western Europe can live in freedom. A lot of them gave their life for our freedom,we will respect and honour them as long as we live.
    Lya from the Netherlands, Europe

  3. Lya,
    I almost cried reading your sweet comment. Thank you.

  4. Thanks Sue and Lya- I was going to add the Canadian troops since they have always fought side-by-side with the US and the poet was a Canadian soldier (ok, and because I am Canadian and American).

    Like you, Sue, I wish it would end....


  5. I live in the Flandres (Belgium)and the soldiers who came liberating our country are remembered every day in Ypres (a 30 minutes drive from where I live).
    Every day the 'last post' is live played by a fanfare near the 'towngate'.
    The soldiers are in our mind! Every day !


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