A thought for the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of every
year in every land:

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)

I learned only yesterday that poppies McCrae saw blowing in Flanders winds
germinate only in freshly turned soil. Artillery during the War to end all Wars constantly
turned the soil, and poppies bloomed unusually everywhere. We can imagine slaughter
juxtaposed with poppies and larks singing above exploding shells and death. Thus we see a
more beautiful — and complete — picture than grainy black and white newsreels or history
books tell. McCrae scribbled his poem on a scrap of paper which he threw away immedi-
ately after writing it. A friend picked it up and mailed it toPunch whose editors published
the poem and gave everyone a classic. From the worst, comes the best, as we have seen.

- Morley Evans

IMAGE Flanders01.jpg

Armistice Day 2001