Remembrance

A short post to mark Remembrance Sunday today.

I knew I wanted to post a First World War poem to mark the occasion – who better to describe the reality of war than someone who was there? But I deliberated a short while over whose words and which sentiment to choose.

It was the image of the torch which finally caused me to settle on this one. “To you from failing hands we throw/ the torch; be yours to hold it high”. One hundred years ago that torch was thrown – to us – and now it is our job to hold it up. Cast its light over history and recognise fully the sacrifices of many that brought us all to the here and now. And with that knowledge firmly in our hearts, to carry its light forwards.

 

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
May 1915

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