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May 26, 2014

Poppies

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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 and physician, McCrae was a Lieutenant Colonel of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and served as a field surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres in Belgium (April 21–May 25 1915). He wrote this famous and much beloved poem on May 3, 1915. It first appeared in Punch in December of 1915. McCrae preferred the front lines. On June 1, 1915, despite his protests, McCrae was asked to set up a hospital away from the front and near Boulogne, France. In January 1918, he died of pneumonia and meningitis while still commanding that hospital.

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Posted by JD Hull at May 26, 2014 02:39 PM

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