Lest we forget

by - November 11, 2011

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 blow
In Flanders fields.                                                        -- John McCrae

Background: During the early days of the Second Battle of Ypres a young Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2nd May, 1915 in the gun positions near Ypres. An exploding German artillery shell landed near him. He was serving in the same Canadian artillery unit as a friend of his, the Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae.
As the brigade doctor, John McCrae was asked to conduct the burial service for Alexis because the chaplain had been called away somewhere else on duty that evening. It is believed that later that evening, after the burial, John began the draft for his now famous poem “In Flanders Fields”.

Today, we, the Dominion of Canada, honor our fallen. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (and this year happens to be the eleventh year...) we pause in silence for two minutes to commemorate the courageous deeds of our military, especially those who were killed in action. 
It's an amazing thing, throwing aside your safety in order to protect your country. To protect something you believe in. Without our soldiers, we would have no freedom. We owe them our lives.

Lest we forget.

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