Wednesday, November 11, 2009

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.

This poem In Flanders Fields is recited by (English speaking) children all over Canada. It was written by Major Doctor John McCrae, a Canadian serving in World War I. He later died in that conflict. I recited this poem aloud when I stood in Flanders in 2005. I recited it in my head at Vimy Ridge earlier this year. It always sends chills down my spine when I recite it. It is powerful and emotional, and is also performed in other Commonwealth countries on Remembrance Day.

My wedding date was June 6th, 2009. Exactly 55 years earlier, Operation Overlord, now better known as D-Day commenced. Canadians paid a pivotal role in this battle, securing Juno Beach faster than any other allied force and advancing farther into France than any other allied force on that day.

A picture I took of some remaining trenches in Flanders Fields, 2005:

A picture I took of Vimy Ridge, 2009:

A picture of Wade and me at Juno Beach, 2009:

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