Poppies are everywhere in London in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day. In Canada too, poppies are seemingly everywhere. In the United States, where we call it Veterans Day, you don’t see many poppies nowadays. And that’s a shame, because poppies are not just a symbol of support for our veterans and a gesture of remembrance for those who sacrificed for us in World War One and subsequent wars, those poppies raise millions for charity. When I go to Canada, I make a point of purchasing a poppy for my jacket. And I did the same when I went to London the last week of October and the first week of November.
And how did poppies come to symbolize Remembrance Day? From this poem:
“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.”
– John McCrae, In Flanders Fields
So do take a moment to remember those who sacrificed so much a century ago, and those who have served since then. May we never break faith and have their sacrifice forgotten. And may we never have another war where such sacrifices are needed.