Thursday, November 10, 2011


In America Veterans Day is when we respect our Veterans. Throughout the British Commonwealth, tomorrow is known as Remembrance Day, for the Honorable Dead. The date November 11th was originally Armistice Day, of course; the "Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month" when the Great War to End All Wars came to a halt.

Remembrance Day is represented by poppies; many Americans do not understand the significance of poppies.

Throughout the Commonwealth countries - notably Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and in some places here in the United States, people buy poppies and wear them on their lapels, to contribute to veteran's causes.

The poppy represents one of the great battles of World War I, memorialized in a poem by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on 3 May 1915, after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 22 years old, the day before:

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.

(Internet down here at FireBase TigerLily - hopefully we'll be up & running with 5-by comms by close of business today.)


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