21 October 2002

A Poem

OldEric says (:-]. Should you read this poem read it slowly, and savour it. The poem tells a poignant story.
On 2 May, 1915, in the second week of fighting during the Second Battle of Ypres Lieutenant Alexis Helmer was killed by a German artillery shell. He was a friend of the Canadian doctor Major John McCrae and it is believed that McCrae began the draft for his famous poem 'In Flanders Fields' that evening among the carnage.
Each year on Rememberance Day this poem is repeated, and the dead and dying of all wars are remembered with tears. This is the time when men and wives and lovers and sons and daughters, weep for lost fathers and grandfathers, lost in the carnage that was Flanders fields and in all battle fields since, both remembered and forgotten.
I was a boy of 6 when WW2 started and 12 when the war ended. I remember the poem since that time, each time I hear 'In Flanders Fields' the words never fail to bring a lump to my throat. Each time I read the poem I always read the last verse again, the last verse says it all, when you think about it. Evil in the world still abounds and will continue to exist into the future, we should be strong and face Evil.

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915

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.

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