The Letter Writing Revolution

Revitalizing a Lost Art One Letter at a Time

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Remembrance

In 1990, I travelled to Europe with my older sister for a back packing excursion. A highlight of this trip was our visit to Belgium and taking a small bus tour of the various war memorials, gravesites as well as the hospital (a makeshift shelter built into the side of a hill) where Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918), wrote the now famous poem "In Flander's Fields." Today is November 11th and the day that we remember all of the men and women who have served (and are serving) our country and who have made sacrifices including their emotional and physical health and even their lives. Please read the post A Letter to a Soldier and offer a moment of silence today in remembrance.

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.

~Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Poppies growing in Ypres cemetery.


  1. Simple and eloquent. I know this poem from heart, having heard it recited by children for 13+ years, but it still breaks the heart..."scarce heard amidst the guns below" are so fitting...the mud and blood and horror, contrasting with the clean silence of a graveyard.

  2. If we make a point of remembering we can never forget. Great post Julie.

  3. How well I remember standing in the rain, listening to you read that poem aloud in the place where it was written. It was an unforgettable moment. I was so proud to be Canadian that day.

  4. This is such a classic poem, it really is timeless.

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