With the tears a Land hath shed
Their graves should ever be green.~Thomas Bailey Aldrich
As a little girl growing up in Canada, I remember asking my Dad one morning why we wore poppies on our lapel in November. He explained that it was for Remembrance Day, to pay tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in war, serving our country.
In fact, the poppies became a symbol for the day because of the haunting poem In Flanders Fields. The flowers bloomed all over some of the worst battlefields in World War I. It has been said that the brilliant red of the flower can serve as a symbol for the blood that is spilt in war.
As our day begins, let us take time to remember the soldiers and their families of both the United States, Canada and the Commonwealth on this Remembrance/Veterans Day.
This is a day to put down your political views and your opinions. This is a day to simply bow your head and give thanks for the men and women in all branches of the military who gave us their very lives in defense of the freedoms that we take for granted everyday.
I will leave you with the haunting words by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, written in tribute to his friend Lieutenant Alexis Helmer after he witnessed his death in May of 1915. Lest We Forget…
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.