Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day

Dear Reader,

Today is Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day (or, I guess in America, Veterans Day). When I was in England two years ago they sold paper poppies for a pound at the tube and all the proceeds went to war veterans. I decided that I should make my own poppy in remembrance of the many people who have died because of wars.

So I did, at work. With computer paper, a red pen, and a sharpie.

I think it turned out okay....

If you're wondering why they use poppies as a remembrance of war, it is because poppies grew in Flanders Field, where some of the most terrible battles of World War I were fought. Their red color was like a symbol of all the blood that was spilled during that war. Around 16 million people were killed in WWI, almost half of those civilians. It's only fair that we take at least one day to remember them.

In Westminster Abbey they lay poppies on the tomb of the unknown soldier on Remembrance Day to honor the dead. The following poem is what really cemented the use of poppies as a remembrance of the war heroes.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

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.

If you haven't yet, please take a minute to remember those who fought to keep freedom alive, not just in our country, but all over the world.

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