In Flander's Fields

The poem "In Flanders Fields" is possibly one of the most famous poems written during any war.
It was written by Canadian Lt-Colonel John McCrae whilst he was on active service at Ypres ~ Belgium ~ 1915.

The poppy has come to symbolise those battlefields of France and Belgium during that conflict and is still worn today as a mark of remembrance.

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In Flanders Fields

In Flanders field 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.

Lt - Colonel John McCrae
1872 ~ 1918
Written in 1915

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After reading "In Flander's Fields" an American, Miss Moira Michael wrote a reply entitled, "We Shall Keep The Faith"

We Shall Keep The Faith

Oh ! you who sleep in Flanders fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew,
We caught the torch you threw,
And holding high we kept,
The faith with those who died,
We cherish too, the poppy red,
That grows on fields where valour led.

It seems to signal to the skies,
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red,
Of the flower that blooms above the dead,
In Flanders fields.

And now the torch and poppy red,
Wear in honour of our dead,
Fear not that ye have died for naught,
We've learned the lesson that you taught,
In Flanders field.

Moira Michael

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R.W. Lilliard was moved to write "America's Answer" to "In Flanders Fields"

America's Answer To In Flanders Fields

Rest ye in peace, ye Flanders dead,
The fight that ye so bravely led,
We've taken. ; And we will keep,
True faith with you who lie asleep,
With a cross to mark his bed,
In Flanders fields.

Fear not that ye have died for naught,
The torch ye threw to us we caught,
Ten million hands will hold it high,
And freedom's light shall never die!
We've learned the lesson that ye taught,
In Flanders fields.

R. W. Lilliard

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Other poets have also been moved to write responses to John McCrae's poem. Two further ones are added here.

Reply To In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the cannons boom,
And fitful flashes light the gloom,
While up above, like eagles, fly,
The fierce destroyers of the sky;
With stains the earth within you lie,
Is redder than the poppy bloom,
In Flanders field.

Sleep on, ye brave ! the shrieking shell,
The quaking trench, the startling yell,
The fury of the battle hell,
Shall wake you not, for all is well ;
Sleep peacefully, for all is well.

Your flaming torch aloft we bear,
With burning heart and oath we swear,
To keep the faith, to fight it through,
To crush the foe, or sleep with you,
In Flanders field.

J. A. Armstrong

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Oh ! sleep in peace where poppies grow ;
The torch your falling hands let go,
Was caught by us, again held high,
A beacon light in Flander's sky,
That dims the stars to those below,
You are our dead, you held the foe,
And 'ere the poppies cease to blow,
We'll prove our faith in you who lie,
In Flanders field.

Oh ! rest in peace, we quickly go,
To you who bravely died, and know,
In other fields was heard the cry,
For freedom's cause of you who lie,
So still asleep where poppies grow,
In Flanders field.

As in rumbling sound, to and fro,
The lightning flashes, sky aglow,
The mighty hosts appear, and high,
Above the din of battle cry,
Scarce heard amidst the guns below,
Are fearless hearts who fight the foe,
And guard the place where poppies grow,
Oh ! sleep in peace, all you who lie,
In Flanders field.

And still the poppies gently blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
The larks, still soaring bravely high,
Are singing now their lullaby,
To you who sleep where poppies grow,
In Flanders field.

John Mitchell

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Their names shall live for evermore

Lest We Forget

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