Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Armistice Day

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the guns fell silent.

Americans tend to wear the poppy, if we remember to at all, in the Spring when we commemorate the end of the Civil War and Memorial Day. In the Autumn is our Veterans Day, which corresponds to the more universally observed Remembrance Day that marks the end of The Great War. This is observed by our British cousins, who first wore the poppy 90 years ago in tribute to Flanders Fields. Today I picked one up at the VA Hospital. My Grandfather that I never met, my Mother's Father, was wounded at Château-Thierry.

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915

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.

There are many fine books on WW-I and we should strive to keep our memories alive. I recommend The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussel.

1 comment:

Miranda said...

Thank you for this lovely reminder.