In Flanders Fields

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"In Flanders Fields" is a well-known war poem written by Canadian soldier John McRae during the First World War. It was inspired by a war cemetery in France where wild poppies grew between the grave markers. MacRae wrote the poem after conducting the funeral ceremony of a friend who was killed during an artillery bombardment in the Ypres Salient in 1915.[1]

The poem

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.

Legacy

Thanks to MacRae's poem, the poppy has become a symbol of remembrance and respect for veterans. The wearing of a poppy on Remembrance Day and Veteran's Day has become a tradition in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.[2]

References

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