Friday, November 06, 2009

Saturday Photo Hunt - Veterans/Military

To participate in the Hunt, please go here.

In the United Kingdom Remembrance Sunday is the second Sunday of November, the one nearest to November 11th, which is the anniversary of the end of the hostilities of the First World War at 11am in 1918.  The day is to remember all war dead and will be especially poignant here this year with 5 British soldiers being shot and killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday.

Some of the bloodiest fighting of World War One took place in the Flanders and Picardy regions of Belgium and Northern France. The poppy was the only thing which grew in the aftermath of the complete devastation. John McCrae, a doctor serving there with the Canadian Armed Forces, deeply inspired and moved by what he saw, wrote these verses:
In Flanders' Fields
John McCrae, 1915
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.

Since 1921 single poppies and wreaths have been made by disabled ex-servicemen for people to buy and therefore contribute to the Royal British Legion charity. The wreaths are laid on the memorials and two-minutes' silence is held at 11 a.m.

The photo above shows the poppy that I'm wearing this week, together with the Military Medal for 'Bravery in the Field' awarded to my Uncle Ben for rescuing his commanding officer, despite his own injuries.


YTSL said...

Those poppies... they sure do get one remembering -- not only the war itself but the wonderful, even if often painful, beauty of those World War One Poets' poetry.

Carver said...

This was an excellent post and tribute to your Uncle Ben. In Flanders' Fields never fails to make me weepy. Sad and beautiful.

Good to see you blogging again. I have missed you.

Chris said...

Thanks, Carver. Good to be back.

EastCoastLife said...

I didn't know the significance of poppies on Veterans' Day.
Happy photohunting.