Tuesday, November 10, 2009


In Flander's 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's glow,
Loved and were loved, But now we lie
In Flander's Field.

Take up our quarrel with the foe.
To you, from flailing 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 Flander's Field.
- John McCrae

It surprised me this morning when I asked one of my classmates whether Americans ever wore poppies, and he gave me a quizzical look.

The poem above is a Canadian classic. Every November 11, we pause to remember those who fought for our freedom. At 11:00 a.m., we observe a moment of silence to reflect on their sacrifice.

The poppy is a symbol of remembrance. Every November, small change donations to the veteran's societies will get you a small poppy to wear on your lapel. We wear them with pride as we remember those who have gone before us.

Although I will be in the middle of a session on case interviews tomorrow during the moment of silence, as I've met more people who have served their country here than I ever met at home, the reality of the sacrifice hits home more. My roommate's boyfriend has served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I have seen how war affects both those who serve and the family and loved ones they leave behind. Even though he serves in the US military, I figure we've been on the same side since 1813 anyway. ;-)

So, although I am miles away from my fellow Canadians, tomorrow I will remember with you, as well as with those who have served right beside us for so many years.


Metal said...

I am surprised at how different Canada is from the US.

JulyDream said...

Great post!! My dad was in the Navy for years, so in my family you love and respect the military. Thanks for sharing. :)