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Beer Guardian
ENTP 5w6 So/Sx 584 ILE Honorary INTJ
15,369 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.
This poem is believed to have been written by John McCrae, a Canadian doctor in the trenches of WWI. He penned it on the evening of May 3[SUP]rd[/SUP], 1915 after carrying out a funeral service for a friend during the Second Battle of Ypres. The poem was subsequently published in a British magazine called Punch in December of 1915, and the poem would become famous the world over as a somber reminder of the brutal futility of war.

I was 22 when I first went to college, because I joined the U.S. Navy right out of high school. I felt like I needed some time to figure myself out, get some skills, and maybe see a bit of the world, before I went to a university. As it turned out, my college had an active Veteran's Program, and every year, on or around Veterans Day, 11/11, they would host a dinner for both active and alumni veterans. As a part of that dinner, there was a very old man, an actual WWI veteran, who graduated from my school sometime in the 1920's, and he would stand up and recite "In Flanders Fields" as a part of the opening benediction. His voice was a bit thin and raspy, betraying his advanced years, but his tone and inflection as he read those somber words always struck a chord with me. It was supposed to be "The War to End All Wars," and yet the same failures that led to the conflict in the first place would inevitably drive the economics and politics that lead to another World War, 21 years after the first, and the political and economic failures of WWII resulted in the Cold War, and greatly contributed to the fluctuating tensions in the Middle East. It seems like we still have the same basic problems we did 100 years ago: our motivation and ability to make wars by far outstrips our desires to prevent them.

Dr. John McCrae would not live to know just how famous his poem would become. He died of Pneumonia in January 1918. The Great War ended on November 11[SUP]th[/SUP], 1918. It is estimated that there were more than 37,000,000 casualties during the war.
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