Friday, November 11, 2011


Queen ElizabethII is my fourth monarch; the first was George V followed by his son Prince Edward who found it impossible to reign without the love of his life Wallis Simpson – an American divorcee. He abdicated and left his brother George VI, to take over and see us through WW2. On his untimely death the young Elizabeth, his elder daughter started her rule which continues today.

It was her grandfather George V who specifically dedicated a day – Armistice Day as a sign of Remembrance to the veterans of WWI. On this day a scarlet poppy is normally worn. .Way back to the Napoleonic wars the destruction in the fields disturbed the earth and blood red poppies grew around the bodies of the fallen soldiers. This was repeated in 1914 during WWI and the poppies bloomed in the barren land.

John McCrae an exhausted surgeon angered by the slaughter at Ypres and after witnessing the death of a friend wrote:

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.

Some people prefer to wear a white poppy as a symbol of peace but to me this day is a day to remember and honour the men and women who spilt their blood so that we could be free and the scarlet poppy not only demonstrates this but also helps to support the veterans.


Scarlet Blue said...

Well said, Pat.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Lovely, my dear. And I think it is a Beautiful way to remember those that gave their lives for all of us---And still, these wars go on, and on, and on......

Pat said...

Scarlet: thank you - it's just what I feel.

Naomi: I also remember the ones - my uncles and cousins included _ who didn't necessarily lose their lives but endured the unendurable and lost their health and years of their lives.

Granny Annie said...

As always, thank you for the history lesson. I also enjoyed the music video you posted on the 10th. It is a day felt in numerous ways around the world where men and women put on a uniform of sacrifice for us.

R. Sherman said...

A nice remembrance.

Our National WWI Museum is in Kansas City, Missouri and to get inside, one walks through a stylized field of red poppies with the McCrae poem highlighted above the doors. It's very moving.

john.g. said...

My poppy was worn with pride and reverance for the fallen.

Pat said...

Granny Annie: history always was a favourite subject.

Randall: I'd love to visit our museum.

John: as did MTL and I.

Mage said...

I haven't read that in a long time, and now my eyes are filled with tears. Thanks.

angryparsnip said...

A quiet and lovely post today.

Cheers, parsnip

The Unbearable Banishment said...

There was a very fine Veteran's Day parade up 5th Avenue this afternoon. Beautiful, crisp fall day for it, too. What a worthwhile holiday!

I kind of wish we had a Queen here in the U.S. The closest thing we've got is Oprah.

If Oprah Winfrey married Deepak Chopra, she'd be Oprah Chopra.

Pat said...

age: they earned our tears didn't they.

Parsnip: thank you:)

UB: oh I'm glad yours is on the same day - I wasn't sure.
As for Queens - I think they broke the mold after Elizabeth II. I doubt we'll find another.

Judy (kenju) said...

I remember wearing the red poppies every year on Veterans Day when I was a child and teen. It is too bad that custom has fallen by the wayside.

Pat said...

Judy: really? That does surprise me.
What a shame that the Veterans lose out on money that could be raised for them. There's a job for some brave soul - to start it up again.

Z said...

I went to the high school's Remembrance Day assembly yesterday. Nearly 1,000 pupils, every one wearing a red poppy and total respectful silence from the floor during the whole time. Because the chaplain had the main service in the town at 11, it was held at 9, and the school had another silence at 11.

Pat said...

Z: great to hear it:)

David Edward Linus said...

it is good to remember and to pay respect as appropriate