Full Respect

Today on Memorial Day I heard a reading of this poem for the first time. Written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD, after he presided over the funeral of a friend and fellow soldier during the early stages of World War I. Poppy fields were numerous near the burial ground in Belgium. McCrae died of pneumonia about 10 months before the end of the Great War.

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.


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