|Poppies Symbolise Sacrifice|
The Armistice that ended "The Great War" (World War I) was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month ~ November 11th, 1918. Europeans commemorate this day as "Armistice Day", Americans as "Veterans Day", and citizens of the Commonwealth as "Remembrance Day".
Poppies grow in profusion in Belgium, in the disturbed earth of the battlefields and cemeteries where many many of the war dead lie. The poem "In Flanders Fields" was written by a Canadian physician, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, in the trenches on the battle front a day after he witnessed how horrifying death in battle of a friend is & was published in 1919. The most famous bloom of poppies in the war was in 'Ypres', a town in Flanders, Northern Belgium, which was crucial to the Allied defence. There were three battles there, but it was the second, which was calamitous to the allies since it heralded the first use of the new chlorine gas the Germans were experimenting with, which brought forth the poppies in greatest abundance.
I've been to the battlefields of Belgium & those fields filled with blood red poppies & white crosses which surround you on every horizon, further than your eyes can see or your brain can comprehend and it is very overwhelming indeed. It puts perspective on the sentence "Freedom isn't Free" .... it was paid for by the lives of those who are buried there. They gave their all so I could live safe & free. Today I remember them.
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.
Love your Country, Live with Pride, Don't forget those who Died!