What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

11 November 2010

Lest We Forget

I think I post this poem on Remembrance Day most years, but goodness knows it bears repeating. (If you'd like to read a different poem, and see Brisbane's really beautiful Remembrance Day display, go to L'Aussie's blog.)

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.

(The story of the poem is available here.)

This is not a pro-war post. This is an anti-forgetting post. In remembrance of those who have lived and died, not only in war, but also in peace. Not only fighting for their nation, but also fighting for their ideals. "The foe" has many faces: among them are hatred, greed, deceit, selfishness. Am I ready to meet them and fight against them when they cross my path?

As a writer, I prefer the spilling of ink to the spilling of blood. Words have power to touch hearts, to change minds. And so I use my words with care as I urge you, this Eleventh of November, to pause for remembrance, to take up the torch, and to hold it high.


Mary Mary said...

Beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing what we all should be feeling and doing. We should forever keep our military personnel and veterans in our thoughts and prayers.

Denise Covey said...

This is a beautiful post. Love the pic. Thanks for the heads up to my post..:)

Su said...

@Mary: Glad you liked it.

@L'Aussie: When I saw how good yours was, I couldn't help but share. :)

Adina West said...

I like your interpretation of this poem much better than the sentiments I'm thinking the original poet had!

I think views on warfare in general have undergone a big shift in the last 50 years, particularly among women. You won't ever catch me sending some poor guy a white feather...

Su said...

Well, the original poet was in war and wanted to win, so... yeah. World War I was so horrible. All wars are horrible, of course, but you get what I'm saying. No wonder they called it "the war to end all wars". Pity it didn't.

And not to get too political, but it seems the wars in the last 50 years have been more politically motivated and less, "hey, let's stop this guy from taking over the world." Of course somebody had to start the war by trying to take over the world, which are political motives, too, but I mind a lot less if my country is intervening to stop other people from being smashed to smithereens than if we're going to war just because we can.

The WWII era was always one of my favourite subjects in history, because I think the way people pulled together was amazing. I'm sad it takes a major conflict to bring us to that, though.