Sunday, 11 November 2012

Rememberance Sunday

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.
via wikipedia
In Flanders fields by Lieut. Col. John McCrae., M.D

46 comments:

  1. Hallo Rosemary!What a lovely poem!And the picture with poppies,looks like Spring!My favourite flowers are poppies!Wish you a lovely Sunday my friend!
    Dimi..

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    1. Thank you Dimi - today in the UK is the day that we remember all those who lost their lives in wars.

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    2. I am sorry Rosemary!I didnt know!Honor for those who died for your country.
      Dimi..(My English is not the best)

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    3. My dear Dimi - I would not expect you know, so please do not worry. Your English is brilliant, better than my Greek - αντίο για τώρα.

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  2. Thank you for this remembrance post Rosemary and for this beautiful but sad poem.
    I always remember my great uncle on this day, who died at Fromelles on the 19th July, 1916, aged 22.

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    1. Dear Betty - it is right that we should remember - thank you for your comment.

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  3. A very nice post Rosemary.
    Having visited the site where this poem was composed makes it very poignant for me.
    Kirk

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    1. I agree Kirk - I read the poem at the site too.

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  4. Today is special indeed Rosemary but to me every day is remembrance day almost. There's just so much around here that reminds us of WWI constantly. But you're right, today will be extra special, in Ypres certainly, our crownprince will be there and there will be a special Last Post blown. Today, everyone will remember.

    The last post is blown every day at 8PM under the Menin Gate in Ypres, you probably know that. Whenever I hear the sound of the trumpets and the melody of the Last Post, I get the shivers, it does something, it is so overwhelming. The Menin Gate, all those names, the poppies, the people, the quiet and just the trumpets....

    Bye,
    Marian

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    1. Dear Marian - thank you very much for your moving contribution. It must be a constant reminder, as you say, to have Ypres and other cemeteries of this tragic past on your doorstep.
      I am ashamed to say that I have not visited the war graves, but I realise that it is something that I must do at some stage in the future.
      I got the shivers just reading your post - thank you Marian.

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  5. Lovely poem.
    Remembrance Day is over here, we had a minute silence at 11am as we always do..to remember.

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    1. We do the same, the poem sums it all up.

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  6. This is a lovely tribute to all the men who died and fought.. Then and now.
    I was going to write a post about rememberence day.. but got caught up in the celebrations .. It left me very sad, as it does every year.. I had a good cry. I was marching up and down to the bands.. This day always makes me feel so sad.
    My grandfather(paternal side) died in the first world war, from gas.
    I visited the fields some 20 years ago with my daughter.. we travelled all around that area and saw the rows and rows.. I cried then too.
    thank you rosemary... A beautiful poem.
    God bless them all.

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    1. Dear Val - it is a particularly poignant day for you and your family having lost your grandfather in WW1. As we get older, I think it makes you realise how terrible it was for men to have their lives cut short when still young, and of the women at home left with babies to raise alone. Our lives have been blessed in comparison.

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  7. A lovely tribute, and your inclusion of John McCrae's bright face induced me to read his biography on Wikipedia. All today's poppies are a rememberance of him, too.

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    1. I am glad that you found out more about John McCrae, it is interesting that after writing the poem he discarded it as being unsatisfactory, and fellow soldiers retrieved it.

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    2. One wonders how many treasures have been lost that way. While listening to our National Public Radio, I discovered that Cezanne was a perfectionist (or at least easily dissatisfied with his work), and left many canvases in forests, right where he had painted them.

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    3. I had not heard about Cezanne doing that before, but I can understand why. He probably had particular visions in his mind, and rejected his paintings if he did not achieve the desired effect.

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  8. It is always a difficult day. Last November I had just finished transcribing a friend's father's war diary, and felt very connected to the remembrance ceremonies. He died this year, aged 91, so I have been thinking of him today. This post is lovely Rosemary, thankyou for sharing it. J.

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    1. Dear Janice - it is lovely that you transcribed the war diary for your friend's father before he died. You must have been pleased that you had done it for him.
      The older we get the more poignant the day becomes, especially when remembering that young men are still dying today.
      I was so thrilled to see your icon here today, you have been in my thoughts all week♥

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  9. Hello Rosemary, It is always of the highest importance to honor soldiers and veterans. One line in the poem struck me: "If ye break faith with us who die". A particular objection of mine is when soldiers or other people who are honored by some monument, park or building are "de-honored" when the memorial is eliminated or rededicated to another purpose. McCrae's words express my feeling far better than I could ever hope to.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. You may be interested to know that John McCrae was a Canadian physician during WWI, and he was inspired to write this poem after presiding over the funeral of a friend and officer who died at Ypres. Apparently dissatisfied with what he had written he discarded it, but it was retrieved by fellow soldiers.
      You are right about monuments being destroyed or even vandalised it is a desecration to their memory.

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  10. Oh dear, Rosemary, more tears come to my eyes. Will it ever end?

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    1. It was your post Nilly that set me off.

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  11. Such a poignant poem, Rosemary. This morning I stood on a windy hillside in the far north of Scotland for the wreath laying at the local war memorial. So many names from such a small community.

    Last year, before you found my blog, I wrote a post about my great-uncle Walter who was killed in Flanders in 1916 at the age of 21.
    http://perpetually-in-transit.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/they-shall-grow-not-old.html

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    1. Dear Perpetua - when you recall all of the war memorials in the cities, towns, villages, and small communities up and down the country engraved with the names of so many young men it is important to remember.
      Thank you for pointing me in the direction of your post last year. Each story for every family is a loss too much, and these men had hardly begun their lives - all their hopes and ambitions gone forever.
      You may find it of particular significance to yourself to read a comment written above by Marian (flowersandhome blog). She lives very close to the Menin Gate and writes a moving account of what happens there each evening and especially today.

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    2. Thanks,Rosemary, I read it before leaving my own comment and it reinforced in me the desire to visit Ypres and the Menin Gate to find my great-uncle's name on the memorial and attend the Last Post Ceremony myself. Mt sister has done so and this year my eldest grandson did the same on a trip to northern France and Belgium with the Youth Band he plays with.

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    3. I think that it was important that Marian left us that comment to read.

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  12. Respect for the victims. The region of Flanders was hit hard.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. It is important to remember Filip I agree.

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  13. It's hard to imagine the dreadful conditions and the numbers killed in the World WarI. My grandfathers cousin died at Ypres which I discovered while doing research into my family history. I expect I am the only one one the family who will think of him today,as he was young and unmarried when he died. Marian's account moved me too.
    Sarah x

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    1. I am pleased that you read Marian's account, you know that your grandfathers cousin is remember every evening by those at the Menin Gate - what a sad loss of life in one so young.

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  14. Hi Rosemary, it is good to remember and pay tribute to those who have given all to our countries. I worked beside our veterans hospital and they had a ceremony on this day every year. When the gun salute was fired some of the veterans would hide under their chairs. It was moving and desperately sad to see. Olive

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    1. Dear Olive - that is sad that they were still frightened by the gun salute. The horror must have be deeply within them.

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  15. So many wars. So many men and women gone. The least we can do is remember them and pay them our respect...

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    1. I cannot imagine how awful it must have been for the mothers and fathers of these young people to lose them on the brink of their lives.

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  16. Dear Rosemary,
    Thank you for this beautiful and poignant tribute. To see John McCrae's handsome young face and read his poem is a heart-wrenching reminder of all of the young people who through the centuries have made the ultimate sacrifice for their countries. Thank you.
    Warm regards,
    Erika

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    1. Dear Erika - John McCrae was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during WWI, and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres. He wrote the poem after carrying out the funeral of a fellow officer and friend killed at Ypres.

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  17. Now that I have two young sons just entering "legal" age, it makes my heart ache at the thought of losing them, and of course the sadness you can't help feel for all soldiers and the cost of war.

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    1. Dear Rosemary - I have two sons as well, and could not bear to have them snatched away in a war situation. For parents to lose their child in such a situation is unthinkable, many lost more than one.

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  18. A great tribute for Remembrance Day Rosemary.

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  19. It is so nice to remember every years the people who left their blood ,to the wars !
    They were fighting for the freedom that we have today !
    Have a nice day !
    Olympia

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  20. Dear Rosemary - A wonderful tribute! There was a wreath laying ceremony at a memorial near my shop this past Monday. In the U.S. we have Veteran's Day.
    Thanks for this post.
    Loi

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    1. I am not sure when Veteran's Day is? but I expect it is very similar. Thanks Loi.

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“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you - you have to go to them too.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh