In Flanders fields the poppies blow

anzacpoppyI attended a ANZAC day service today at my kids’ school, and I learnt about the significance of the red poppy, and I thought I would share it with you.

The Flanders poppy has long been a part of Remembrance Day, the ritual that marks the Armistice of 11 November 1918, and is also increasingly being used as part of Anzac Day observances. During the First World War, red poppies were among the first plants to spring up in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium. In soldiers’ folklore, the vivid red of the poppy came from the blood of their comrades soaking the ground. The sight of poppies on the battlefield at Ypres in 1915 moved Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae to write the poem In Flanders fields (see The recitation). In English literature of the nineteenth century, poppies had symbolised sleep or a state of oblivion; in the literature of the First World War a new, more powerful symbolism was attached to the poppy – the sacrifice of shed blood.

In Flanders fields

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.

John McCrae (1872–1918)

 

 

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I love helping charities and not-for-profits. I am a fundraiser by day and a community do-gooder by night. I often get caught up in great charitable projects and fundraisers, of which I attempt to encourage (some call this spam) others to get involved - hence the name charityspam! My background is in corporate social responsibility and marketing, and I work as a fundraiser/consultant for Social Money Solutions www.socialmoney.com.au ENJOY! Please subscribe and help spread the word!
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