Monday, May 18, 2009

In Flander's Fields

In the second week of fighting during the Second Battle of Ypres a Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on May 2nd, 1915 by a German artillery shell. He was a friend of the Canadian military doctor Major John McCrae. John was asked to conduct the burial service owing to the chaplin being called away on duty elseware. It is believed that later that evening John began the draft for his famous poem "In Flanders Fields."

On November 11, 1995 Lt. Col. Graham Parker, was in Ypres, he led the poppy parade to the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing. There was a heavy rainstorm and the crowds lining the route quickly put up many different coloured umbrellas.

The Armistice Day service at the Menin Gate Memorial that year was commemorating the 70th anniversary of the battles of 1915 in the Ypres Salient. Graham's thoughts turned to May, 1915 and a soldier's cemetery close to Ypres. The powerful image of poppies growing among the graves there in portrayed in the poem"In Flanders Fields." These images of poppies on the old Flanders battlefields and the umbrellas on a wet November day in Ypres were Graham's insporation fo the Poppy Umbrella. The Poppy Umbrella helps raise funds for Service charities.

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 high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

This is a tribute to all the world soldiers that have given their lives, so we may be free. This Memorial Day is also to our brave soldiers that are still in harms way and the brave ones that have been through the battles and made it home. We must also remember the ones that have been wounded and some have a long way to recovery, also the ones that may not recover to live as they once did. God bless every country, lay his hands on the lands and make them whole once more, peace be to all humanity, Amen.


A New Beginning said...

Thats a beautiful post!Thanks ,Margaret and have a great week ahead:)

Puss-in-Boots said...

I remember that poem from school...we had to learn it by rote. We have Poppy Day for Memorial Day on November 11 each year.


A beautiful blog Margaret, also the infamous lovely poem, that will never be forgotten.

Take care.


Kaz's Cats said...

That's lovely - I always find that poem so moving,

Thank you,


chubskulit said...

Thanks for your patriotism Ms. margaret...

ryliej said...

that's sweet! Hubby would love this post..

john said...

That's very nice of you Ms. margaret to dedicate this to us..

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Margaret:)

Lovely, inspiring poem.

Our soldiers give up their lives for us to live in happiness and freedom. Any amount of gratitude will not compensate for what they do for us.

Have a nice day Margaret:)

Renie Burghardt said...

Nice history of how the famous poem came to be written and the how the inspiration for the poppy umbrella came to be.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, Margaret.


Momo and Pinot said...

Very very nice poem.

Have a great day!

Momo & Pinot (& mom)

Tea Time and Roses said...

Beautiful Post, and such a beautiful blog.



The Cat Realm said...

You might have watched the latest CCSI caper already (we are beyond being organized!) - but of you didn't - you got to check it out!!! It is done totally different than the others and just way cool!!!

Merle said...

Dear Margaret ~~ Lovely tribute for Memorial Day.
That poem is so lovely and brings a tear every year. We owe so much to those brave men and women from all our countries who fought for our freedom.
Thanks for your comments and I am glad you enjoyed the jokes -the 1-2-3 for and Little Johnny
I am glad you had a lovely visit with your sister.
Take care, Love, Merle.

Patty said...

Good afternoon Margaret,
Very nice tribute you've written. Hope you, Wayne and family have a great Memorial Day week-end. After all the cooking I did while our son was here, with his sisters all visiting, I don't plan on doing anything this week-end.

I also want to thank you for your visits and comments. Your blogging friend, Patty

Joanna Jenkins said...

What a thoughtful post. Thank you! It's my first visit to you blog and I will definitely be back!
God bless America and God bless our soldiers!

Merle said...

Hi again Margaret ~~Thanks for your comment, and I am relieved that my computer was easily fixed.
I would surely miss mine as I live alone and it is
my constant companion'
Thank you for including Rex in your prayers, he is
over the operation and waiting on Pathology. So I hope and pray that he will be really well again and Vicki as well. Take great care my friend,
Love, Merle.

Judy said...

I have always loved that poem and enjoyed reading it again. We must always remember our brave men and women protecting us. I hope you have a great weekend.

Barbara Martin said...

War is a horrid thing, and this famous poem by a Canadian author reflects this.

Lilly said...

That was a lovely post Margaret and a great tribute!

Kathleen said...

This is a beautiful, moving tribute for Memorial Day.

The Raggedy Girl said...

What a wonderful history post and touching poem and also thank you for stopping by today.

The Raggedy Girl

Margaret Cloud said...

I hope you all had a very nice Memorial Day and thank you for coming by. "Trust in God. Believe in yourself. Dare to dream." God bless America.

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