Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Recollections of War: Eleventh Month - Eleventh Day - 11:00


This post is part of the 100th Anniversary of World War One Series on this 
blog commemorating the anniversaries of certain events during WWI.

"In Flanders Fields the Poppies Blow"
        Even though the 96 years since the Great War ended is not a specifically memorable anniversary in terms of number of years, it should be remembered as much as any greater commemoration of the First World War.  Because even though, as Winston Churchill said, 'the War was decided in the first twenty days of fighting, and all that happened afterwards consisted in battles which, however formidable and devastating, were but desperate and vain appeals against the decision of Fate,' the fact remains that there were still hundreds of thousands of casualties in the ferocious fighting that took place.
        This day, the Eleventh of November, we remember the final ending of the Great War which began one hundred years ago. After four long years fighting, in France's Compiegne Forest the Allied Nations and Germany signed the Armistice at 11:00 am, thus bringing an end to the First World War - a war that had cost so much was now over.        But still, though the guns were now silent, though men ceased to shoot each other, and those who were left returned to their homes, even to this day:

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 John McCrea, Canadian Army

- - - We will Remember Them


2 comments:

  1. Thanks Will for this thoughtful and sobering reminder

    ReplyDelete

Please feel free to respond below regarding this post!