In Flanders Field

One of the most popular poems of the first World War, it was written by lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on May 3rd, 1915 after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 22 years old, the day before.

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.

Due to the extent of ground disturbance in warfare during World War 1, corn poppies bloomed in between the trench lines and no man’s land on the Western Front. Because of the popularity of the poem, Poppies became a symbol of the War. On Armistice Day (Remembrance Day or Veterans Day) people usually place these poppies on graves and memorials.

John McCrae died on January 28th, 1918 at the age of 45 and was buried in Boulogne-sur-Mer, in Northern France.




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