« Badness in Depositions: "Stop me before I coach again." | Main | White Boy Action Wear »

November 11, 2018

Today is Veterans Day (aka Poppy Day).

John_McCrae_leaning_against_a_sundial (1).jpg
McCrae in 1912

Veterans Day—or Poppy Day in the U.K. and Europe—is always on November 11.

This year in America the day will be observed tomorrow, Monday November 12. We Americans on Veterans Day honor all U.S. military veterans. However, it was originally only a day set aside by the participating combatant countries to honor the dead of World War I, or The Great War, and to celebrate the Armistice with Germany which had commenced November 11, 1918 at 11:00 am

Poppy Day is always observed today, November 11. And Britain and the Commonwealth nations still enthusiastically yet solemnly observe it to honor military veterans who died in the line of duty.

The name Poppy Day, and the holiday's moving symbolism you see in British homes and streets today, come from a famous three-stanza poem by Lt. John Alexander McCrae, a Canadian soldier and physician, believed to be written on May 3, 1915. Early in the war, and in his forties, McCrae served as a front-line surgeon, including in the Second Battle of Ypres (April 21-May 25, 1915).

The poem first appeared in Punch in December of 1915, while McCrae was still alive. In early 1918, he died of pneumonia while still commanding a Canadian military hospital in northern France.


In Flanders Fields

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.

--John Alexander McCrae (1872–1918) Poet, physician, Lieutenant Colonel of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.


Poppy2004.JPG

Posted by JD Hull at November 11, 2018 12:56 AM

Comments

Post a comment




Remember Me?