Saturday, 10 November 2012

We Remember

Today, the 11th of November, marks the day of armistice. At the eleventh hour, the guns of World War One finally fell silent leaving nothing but scarred countryside and the quiet fallen. Starting in 1919, all Commonwealth nations observe Remembrance Day to honor the fallen of the Great War. Other names include Armistice Day and Veterans Day.

Here in England, it seems there is a memorial in every town. I've lost track of the number I've seen in Sheffield alone. We must keep in mind that regiments were raised locally. When they went to war, entire battalions consisted of friends and neighbors. Similarly, when these forces were annihilated on single charges "over the top", their hometowns lost everyone.

To commemorate the day, the public adorn their coats with the "Remembrance Poppy". The flower is attributed to a heralded poem written by Canadian field surgeon Lt.Col. John McCrae:

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.
The poppies grew quickly over the graves of the fallen and their red color mirrored the blood that was shed on all sides. It has since become the unmistakeable symbol of the war.

I am humbled in wearing the poppy for its weight is not lost to me. My respect for all those who fought and died is infinite. Glory and honor to you all.

Sabaton- The Price Of A Mile

1 comment:

  1. Next time, please don't print in red. It's almost impossible to read on the green background. BTW, it's Veteran's Day here, too.