In Flanders Fields By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army 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. *** Today is Remembrance Day, at least in Canada it's Remembrance Day. Other countries have different names, and some celebrate similar days on different days. But for me, no matter where I am the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, is Remembrance Day. I never did anything very special on Remembrance Day. I tried to go to the ceremonies, but since it's not an official holiday I couldn't always make the ceremony. Too often the company or school didn't consider it very important, and wouldn't let us go to the ceremony even at 11 o'clock. Or kept the ceremony so short if you were 2 minutes late you didn't get to participate. So I kept it to myself. I'd buy the poppies from the veterans. Or as the years progressed and fewer veterans survived, from the cardboard boxes they left out. Sometimes during university this was difficult even though they only asked for pennies. I insisted on giving as much as I could spare. On Remembrance Day, even if I was in class or at work, I tried to keep at least a minute of silence as soon as the clock hit 11. I'd still be listening, or working, but I wouldn't say a word. Its my own small way of honouring the people who fought and died for Canada. Remembrance Day isn't about honouring war. War is Hell. Some wars have been just. Some, too many, are not. Remembrance Day is about honouring the men, and now women, who have freely decided to show their support for their country by giving everything they had trying to protect their country, and their people. Many of them did not want to go to war. Many did not know what they were entering when they answered the call. But they went, and once they discovered what was happening, they stayed, and they fought, and too many died. They fought for their buddies. They fought to stay alive. They fought to keep their country free. They fought to free people who could not free themselves. In the last fifty years, many have fought, and died simply trying to keep people in different countries, around the world, and far from home, alive for one more day. It is for them that we honour the soldiers on Remembrance Day. They are not the politicians who spend every waking hour shouting about victory or defeat. They are not the murderers who purposefully kill civilians because they are too weak or cowardly to attack other soldiers. They are not people who spend more time looting and robbing people they are meant to protect, than actually protecting them. We honour the soldiers who fight for freedom, who try to keep the innocent alive, who fight against those that would kill everyone who does not agree with them. It is for them that we hold Remembrance Day. It is for them that we keep a moment of silence once a year. It is for them that we agree to stand on guard, protecting what they died for. May we never forget. The poem In Flanders Field, and responses to it. http://www.nbc-links.com/miscellaneous/FlandersField.html In Flanders Field as a song YouTube - In Flanders Fields If you wish to respond please keep it respectful. If you wish to make this political take it elsewhere.