In Flander’s Fields

Today is the 11th day of the 11th month on which we celebrate the ending of the war to end all wars. I don’t think a lot of people really understand how that war (WWI) began. I certainly don’t.  Something about the assassination of an archduke. Today it honors all veterans from all those other wars that weren’t supposed to happen.

Armistice Day means red poppies. If you’re out and about you may run into a veteran selling them. This traditional started with a poem.

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

McCrae was a Canadian doctor who, legend has it, wrote the poem from the back of an ambulance. Poppies leech the blood from battlefields and in the spring, cover the ground with a sea of red. A sight to see indeed, if not such a stark reminder.

My grandfather did not die in France; he returned to his family and lived a long life.The wounds he suffered were not visible to the naked eye. And he didn’t talk about them.

I’m actually quite mortified that a bit of rain has kept a president of the United States from attending ceremonies honoring the fallen of WWI.  It didn’t stop the troops from fighting and losing their lives. Shame on him. 


12 thoughts on “In Flander’s Fields

  1. I chose John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Field. I wish my poems could do justice to those that fell. How could they I was not there. I hope they are acceptable, I love this poem. I too was surprised that a president of America showed himself to be afraid of inclement weather. 💜💜

  2. This was a wonderful post.

    I’ll be blogging about this same topic tomorrow. Like your grandfather, my great-grandfather fought in World War I. It was an awful war that he almost never spoke of.

  3. Shame on The Donald, indeed! Armistice Day was the end of the War to End All Wars… as WWI was known back in the day. If only that dream had come true… no more wars.

  4. Great post, JT. I wasn’t aware of the red poppies. There was a veteran in front of a local store, and he was there to raise money for veterans. He gave everyone a red flower for every donation. Now I know why he gave out red flowers.

  5. WWI the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was just the trigger. When the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia, the international alliances on both sides were “forced” to declared war on each other.
    It reminds me of the poem ” “For Want of a Nail” …”For want of a shoe the horse was lost… For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.” …. comparatively small acts can have horrendous consequences. But we haven’t learned from the “war to end all wars.”

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