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.

— Lt. Col. John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In memory of Cpl. Bert Whitehurst (1895-1918)

Cpl. Bert Whitehurst
(1895-1918)

Published in Military
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  1. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    One of my favorite poems.  I’m also particularly fond of poppies.  Perhaps this is why…

    • #1
  2. Mad Gerald Lincoln
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    My grand father was a member of the 28 Infantry Division, referred to by Gen. Pershing as the “Iron Division”.  According to the unit history he would have seen extensive action throughout the campaign, although he never spoke much about it. 

    He survived without serious injury until 11 November when his arm was broken by shrapnel during an artillery barrage. He did say the artillery that morning was the worst of the war.

    He made it home, married the girl next door, and raised 5 children.  The youngest was born while he was in the hospital with a ruptured appendix, before penicillin was available.  He survived that also and died in 1967.  He is still missed by his many grandchildren.

    How I wish I could ask him about his experiences…

    • #2
  3. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Mad Gerald (View Comment):

    My grand father was a member of the 28 Infantry Division, referred to by Gen. Pershing as the “Iron Division”. According to the unit history he would have seen extensive action throughout the campaign, although he never spoke much about it.

    He survived without serious injury until 11 November when his arm was broken by shrapnel during an artillery barrage. He did say the artillery that morning was the worst of the war.

    He made it home, married the girl next door, and raised 5 children. The youngest was born while he was in the hospital with a ruptured appendix, before penicillin was available. He survived that also and died in 1967. He is still missed by his many grandchildren.

    How I wish I could ask him about his experiences…

    I think the 28th is the Pennsylvania “Keystone” division.

    • #3
  4. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Mad Gerald (View Comment):

    My grand father was a member of the 28 Infantry Division, referred to by Gen. Pershing as the “Iron Division”. According to the unit history he would have seen extensive action throughout the campaign, although he never spoke much about it.

    He survived without serious injury until 11 November when his arm was broken by shrapnel during an artillery barrage. He did say the artillery that morning was the worst of the war.

    He made it home, married the girl next door, and raised 5 children. The youngest was born while he was in the hospital with a ruptured appendix, before penicillin was available. He survived that also and died in 1967. He is still missed by his many grandchildren.

    How I wish I could ask him about his experiences…

    I think the 28th is the Pennsylvania “Keystone” division.

    Alias, “The Bloody Bucket”; a nickname that was truly earned.

    • #4
  5. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    I have a Paper Poppy on my desk that I acquired while deployed to a Combined Joint Task Force when our British allies were passing them out on Veteran’s Day.

     

    • #5
  6. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    I also count this among my favorite poems.

    There are several responses to it. My favorite is by R.W. Lilliard:

    America’s Answer

    REST YE in peace, ye Flanders dead.
    The fight that ye so bravely led
    We’ve taken up. And we will keep
    True faith with you who lie asleep
    With each a cross to mark his bed,
    In Flanders fields.

    Fear not that ye have died for naught.
    The torch ye threw to us we caught.
    Ten million hands will hold it high,
    And Freedom’s light shall never die!
    We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught
    In Flanders fields.


    Freedom’s light shall never die.

    That’s our job now.

    • #6
  7. LibertyDefender Member
    LibertyDefender
    @LibertyDefender

    Illiniguy:

    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.

    — Lt. Col. John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

    In memory of Cpl. Bert Whitehurst (1895-1918)

    Cpl. Bert Whitehurst (1895-1918)

    In the most recent Mark Steyn Show Podcast, Mark recites In Flanders Fields, after giving a thorough telling of the story of Lt, Col. John McCrae, who penned what has deservedly become the most famous poem written by a Canadian.  Well worth a listen.

    • #7
  8. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak


     

    Canadian trench line near Vimy, March 2016.

    In Flanders Fields….

    • #8
  9. dukenaltum Coolidge
    dukenaltum
    @dukenaltum

    “In Flanders Fields” is a jingoistic nonsense rhyme for a war that should have never been fought.  World War I was a pointless obscenity that sowed a bitter crop of Civilizational collapse by murdering the best and brightest of a generation. 

    Wilson, in rejecting the Habsburg Emperor Carl’s and the Pope’s effort at a negotiated peace, bears a large measure of the responsibility for creating the divided and antagonistic Europe that allowed the perverse regimes of National and International Socialism to grow.   

     

    • #9
  10. Illiniguy Member
    Illiniguy
    @Illiniguy

    dukenaltum (View Comment):

    “In Flanders Fields” is a jingoistic nonsense rhyme for a war that should have never been fought. World War I was a pointless obscenity that sowed a bitter crop of Civilizational collapse by murdering the best and brightest of a generation.

    Jingoistic? Perhaps. Nonsense? No, because it gives one pause to think about the tragedy that befell so many for the cause that you say was unnecessary. I won’t argue with that, but it happened, and this poem is one more way for us to reflect on the history that too many are so anxious to erase.

    • #10
  11. LibertyDefender Member
    LibertyDefender
    @LibertyDefender

    dukenaltum (View Comment):
    “In Flanders Fields” is a jingoistic nonsense rhyme for a war that should have never been fought. 

    Do you make the same complaint about The Battle Hymn of the Republic?

    • #11
  12. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    I always used this poem with my fourth graders when I taught lessons about Veteran’s Day.  I’d make an American history timeline of war: Revolutionary, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish American, then The War to End All Wars. However…the timeline just kept going, despite the War to End All Wars. 

    I used the poem to teach the concept of the writing (iambic pentameter) (although 4th graders didn’t need to know that name, we charted out the rhyme patterns) and to teach about the history. I was the writing and Social Studies teacher for my grade level…this poem has it all!

    I really wish I wasn’t too old and too tired to be back there in the classroom fulltime because I really doubt that children today get to learn about the noble yet doomed causes of the 19th and 20th centuries since mostly they’re been taught by well-meaning teachers who are so young that they don’t have a clue.  

    • #12
  13. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    I really wish I wasn’t too old and too tired to be back there in the classroom fulltime because I really doubt that children today get to learn about the noble yet doomed causes of the 19th and 20th centuries since mostly they’re been taught by well-meaning teachers who are so young that they don’t have a clue.  

    It’s not their youth that makes them so clueless; it’s their lack of curiosity and education.  Besides, why would you want to teach about Western civilization when it’s the source of all evil.

    • #13
  14. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    I really wish I wasn’t too old and too tired to be back there in the classroom fulltime because I really doubt that children today get to learn about the noble yet doomed causes of the 19th and 20th centuries since mostly they’re been taught by well-meaning teachers who are so young that they don’t have a clue.

    It’s not their youth that makes them so clueless; it’s their lack of curiosity and education. Besides, why would you want to teach about Western civilization when it’s the source of all evil.

    And Air Conditioning. Which is almost as bad in their mind.

    • #14
  15. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    I really wish I wasn’t too old and too tired to be back there in the classroom fulltime because I really doubt that children today get to learn about the noble yet doomed causes of the 19th and 20th centuries since mostly they’re been taught by well-meaning teachers who are so young that they don’t have a clue.

    It’s not their youth that makes them so clueless; it’s their lack of curiosity and education. Besides, why would you want to teach about Western civilization when it’s the source of all evil.

    And Air Conditioning. Which is almost as bad in their mind.

    They might have a point there.  If it weren’t for air conditioning, Congress wouldn’t be able to stay in session over the summer.

    • #15
  16. Illiniguy Member
    Illiniguy
    @Illiniguy

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    They might have a point there. If it weren’t for air conditioning, Congress wouldn’t be able to stay in session over the summer.

    One of my heroes, Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, is credited with having said that the greatest threat to the Republic occurred on the day they put air conditioning in the Capitol.

    • #16
  17. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Illiniguy (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    They might have a point there. If it weren’t for air conditioning, Congress wouldn’t be able to stay in session over the summer.

    One of my heroes, Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, is credited with having said that the greatest threat to the Republic occurred on the day they put air conditioning in the Capitol.

    His worst mistake was being Algore’s father in law.

    • #17
  18. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Randy Webster (View Comment):
    If it weren’t for air conditioning, Congress wouldn’t be able to stay in session over the summer.

    Touche’ sir, touche’

    • #18
  19. dukenaltum Coolidge
    dukenaltum
    @dukenaltum

    LibertyDefender (View Comment):

    dukenaltum (View Comment):
    “In Flanders Fields” is a jingoistic nonsense rhyme for a war that should have never been fought.

    Do you make the same complaint about The Battle Hymn of the Republic?

    Yes.  

    • #19
  20. dukenaltum Coolidge
    dukenaltum
    @dukenaltum

    Illiniguy (View Comment):

    dukenaltum (View Comment):

    “In Flanders Fields” is a jingoistic nonsense rhyme for a war that should have never been fought. World War I was a pointless obscenity that sowed a bitter crop of Civilizational collapse by murdering the best and brightest of a generation.

    Jingoistic? Perhaps. Nonsense? No, because it gives one pause to think about the tragedy that befell so many for the cause that you say was unnecessary. I won’t argue with that, but it happened, and this poem is one more way for us to reflect on the history that too many are so anxious to erase.

    This nonsensical poem produced no reflection or pause about the meaningless carnage of this War, it sought to perpetuate the slaughter based solely on the sunk cost fallacy.    

    • #20