Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

In Flanders' Fields

On this Armistice Day, here's the moving poem by John McCrae, May 1915. In remembrance and honour of the over half a million British, Canadian, Australian, Commonwealth, French and Belgian soldiers who died in the trenches around Ypres and on the battlefield of Passendaele (Flanders - Belgium) during WWI.

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.

___

4 comments:

Mark said...

This brought back to me a lovely memory of my grandparents. To raise money for the VFW(Veterans of Foreign Wars), they would sell Poppy Pins. A couple times a year, I would have my Mom buy one for me. I was quite young and I didn't get the meaning until years later.
Thanks for that Post.
Your Friend, m.

Nadege said...

I think that movies like "a very long engagement" "le grand chemin" "Joyeux Noel"... help keeping this horrible war in french memories. I am glad WWI is still being celebrated.

The Beaver said...

Martine,

There is a movie about Passchendaele:

http://www.passchendaelethemovie.com/

and about the life of Lt Col. John McCrae

http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=history/firstwar/mccrae

ps: I will send recipe over the WE.

ladybird said...

Mark, I didn't know the poppies are a war symbol in the US too. I always thought they were a purely British tradition. Yet, it seems logical as a lot of American soldiers died in Flanders' fields too between 1917 and 1918.

Nadege, For as long as I can remember Armistice Day has been celebrated. It's still an official holiday in Belgium, unlike May 8th (the end of WW2) which used to be a holiday too until the seventies (I think) when our government decided that there were already too many official holidays - which of course in not good for the economy.

The Beaver, Thank you for the interesting links. The DVD of the battle as Passendaele (as it is written in Flemish) is now available. But as I don't have a DVD player I'll wait till it's on (pay) TV.
I'm looking forward to your e-mail and your mother's recipe. Thank you in advance.