It is good to remind ourselves of what Memorial Day means. It is a day to remember all those who gave their lives for our country. It is celebrated on the 4th Monday of May. It is sometimes confused by the naïve with Veterans’ Day. That day, however, is celebrated every November 11th.

This poem is said to be widely read on Memorial Day, though I had not heard it until this week. It was written by a participant in WW I who was a medical doctor and combat soldier, Dr. John McCrae, reportedly after he buried his friend and fellow soldier at Flanders Fields in Europe.

Notice the mission the writer asks from those who are alive and remain. Also note that one handwritten version by Dr. McCrae has “grow” instead of “blow” in the first line.

 

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae 1919

 

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 live, 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.

 

 

 

I am grateful to all who have given their life that we may be free. God bless. – DVM

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