Category Archives: France

In Flanders Fields

Did you know?  100 years ago today (December 8, 1915) this poem was published in an English publication called Punch, anonymously.  The poem was so well received in Europe as well as the US, the poet was revealed and the poem became one of the most popular poems ever written.  The author, John McCrae, was an army field doctor, who wrote the poem during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915 while tending to the wounded and burying the dead.  It captures the anguish of the tragic consequences of war.  He died in 1918 of pneumonia and meningitis.  He was 46.

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. Shorts 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.

in-flanders-fields-the-poppies-blow

Happy Veteran’s Day

11-11-18-WWI-039“Paris was alive! The entire city seemed to be fluttering with millions of flags.  Every vehicle of every sort was bedecked with the Allied colors.  As far down side streets as one could see was a billowing sea of flags flung to the breeze from every housetop, pole, and window.  Bunting was festooned from every lamppost.  Everyone had red, white and blue ribbons or flowers.  In front of the Gare de Lyon two French officers bumped into each other.  They turned to apologize, there was a shout of recognition and they fell into each other’s arms and embraced on either cheek, French fashion, no less than six times! ”

(Chapter 31, November 11, 1918, Marion Mitchell)